04 January 2018

BOOK: Phillip Drew, The Law of Maritime Blockade : Past, Present, and Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). $ 99.95, ISBN: 9780198808435

Oxford University Press is publishing a book dealing i.a. with the legal history of maritime blockade this month.


Although appearing to be a relatively benign method of warfare when viewed from a distance, a close examination of maritime blockade unveils a sinister character that can, in cases where countries are highly reliant on imports of foodstuffs to feed their populations, prove incredibly deadly, particularly for the young and elderly. This book is unique in that it is the only contemporary book that is dedicated to the study of the law of maritime blockade in the context of modern humanitarian law.

Reviewing the development of blockade law over the past four centuries, The Law of Maritime Blockade provides a historical analysis of the law as it emerged, tracing its evolution through armed conflicts between 1684 and the present. Referring to the starvation caused by the blockade of Germany during World War I and the humanitarian crisis caused by the sanctions regime against Iraq (1991-2003), this book demonstrates that blockade can have extremely deleterious effects for vulnerable civilian populations. In this context the current law of blockade is examined, and found to be deficient in terms of its protection for civilians. Recognizing and advocating that blockade should remain as a valid and effective method of warfare, the book offers a template for a modern law of blockade maritime blockade that incorporates many of the traditional aspects of the law, while reducing the possibilities that blockades can cause or exacerbate humanitarian disasters.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Maritime Neutrality Law
3. The Law of Contraband
4. The Historical Practice of Blockade
5. Blockade Law
6. Blockade and the Civilian Population
7. International Humanitarian Law and Blockade
8. Blockade in Non-International Armed Conflict
9. International Human Rights Law and Blockade
10. Conclusions and Recommendations
Appendix: Model Law of Blockade

For more information, please visit the site of the publisher. 

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