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The Libyan civil war presented questions for international law and diplomacy never encountered before in a non-international armed conflict. Alongside problems common to civil wars in general, such as recognition of the contesting parties, access to state property abroad, and non-intervention, the Libyan conflict contained several unique aspects: the elaborate UN, US, and EU sanctions regime and its effect on Libya's sovereign wealth fund (the Libyan Investment Authority), the referral of the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court, and the open calls for regime change. These elements raised complex and unique political and international law issues.
Adopting a similar approach to Norman J. Padelford's seminal 1939 book, International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife, this book presents thirty case studies, providing a detailed legal assessment of each of the key issues of international law and diplomacy raised by the conflict. It focuses on the practical legal problems with which government legal advisers and diplomats were concerned during the civil war, many of which have received little public attention. The book also includes an overview of the Libyan civil conflict as a whole, and a public international law obituary of Muammar Qadhafi, which examines his most prominent actions and their impact on international law. The book also investigates how the Libyan civil war was utilized as a laboratory for the testing of the new 'responsibility to protect' doctrine, raised in deliberations among the United Nations Security Council members. For the first time, the Security Council authorized states to get involved in a civil war and to use 'all necessary measures' to enforce a no-fly zone and to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack.
This book is important reading for scholars, students, and practitioners concerned with the interaction between law and diplomacy in times of armed conflict.