Book Review: The International Law of Belligerent Occupation by Yoram Dinstein

Ben Clarke, University of Notre Dame Australia


Yoram Dinstein is widely regarded as a leading expert on the laws of war.1 His latest book, The International Law of Belligerent Occupation, is a companion volume to War, Aggression and Self Defence and The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict. The latter are among the leading contemporary works on the jus ad bellum and the jus in bello respectively.

What distinguishes Dinstein’s new book from others2 on the international law of occupation is the author’s willingness to tackle legal controversies arising from Israel’s prolonged occupation of territory3 ‘head on'. His straightforward legal analysis of highly political issues makes for compelling reading. The end result is a book that demystifies some of the most contentious legal issues in the Middle East conflict.

Yoram Dinstein, The International Law of Belligerent Occupation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009.