ICRC Launches New Handbook on IHL—Free to Download


A new ICRC resource on IHL is now available. "International Humanitarian Law: A Comprehensive Introduction" is a 360-page introductory handbook that aims to promote and strengthen knowledge of international humanitarian law among academics, weapon-bearers, humanitarian workers and media professionals. 

Written in a practical and accessible style, ideal for both experienced practitioners and first-time lay readers, the book was launched last week in Sanremo, Italy, in association with the International Institute for Humanitarian Law. You can read the author Dr. Nils Melzer’s speech from the launch here. Dr. Melzer currently serves as Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, and was previously an ICRC legal adviser. The foreword is written by the ICRC’s current Director of International Law and Policy, Dr. Helen Durham.

The book endeavors to cover IHL from the ICRC's perspective, something not previously done by other works in this form.  While the book is not in itself an official ICRC statement on IHL, it does attempt to reflect the ICRC's stance on IHL issues, and, of course, links to official positions. 

The book is available online for free download and may also be ordered in print on the ICRC e-Shop. Read more about the publication in this Q&A.