This indispensable book explains how courts are now part of the broader battlefield, deployed by both insurgents and state forces in a world convulsed by unconventional warfare.
In most societies, courts are where the rubber of government meets the road of the people. If a state cannot settle disputes and enforce its decisions, to all intents and purposes it is no longer in charge. This is why successful rebels put courts and justice at the top of their agendas. Rebel Law explores this key weapon in the arsenal of insurgent groups, from the IRA’s ‘Republican Tribunals’ of the 1920s to Islamic State’s ‘Caliphate of Law’, via the ALN in Algeria of the ‘50s and 60s and the Afghan Taliban of recent years.
Frank Ledwidge delineates the battle in such ungoverned spaces between counterinsurgents seeking to retain the initiative and the insurgent courts undermining them. Contrasting colonial judicial strategy with the chaos of stabilisation operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, he offers compelling lessons for today’s conflicts.
Frank Ledwidge is a former barrister and military intelligence officer who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. His books include Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011) and Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain's Afghan War (2013).
Copies of the book will be available to purchase on the evening by credit card or cash at the specially reduced price of £20.
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