New book just published on collaboration and the laws of armed conflict

I interrupt this (ir)regular broadcast on business and human rights in Ireland to let readers know that my new book To Serve the Enemy: Informers, Collaborators, and the Laws of Armed Conflict has just been published by Oxford University Press. The book is published as part of the Oxford Monographs on International Humanitarian and Criminal Law series.

As is likely to be obvious, this is not a business and human rights work; here is the description of the book:

A constant yet oftentimes concealed practice in war has been the use of informers and collaborators by parties to an armed conflict. Despite the prevalence of such activity, and the serious and at times fatal consequences that befall those who collaborate with an enemy, international law applicable in times of armed conflict does not squarely address the phenomenon. The recruitment, use and treatment of informers and other collaborators is addressed only partially and at times indirectly by international humanitarian law.

In this book, Shane Darcy examines the development and application of the relevant rules and principles of the laws of armed conflict in relation to collaboration. With a primary focus on international humanitarian law as may be applicable to various forms of collaboration, the book also offers an assessment of the relevance of international human rights law.

In the book, I do briefly explore the practice of business enterprises serving an opposing side to an armed conflict. The Second World War is replete with such examples. At times, economic collaboration of this nature may have also involved such companies being complicit in violations of international law: the Dutch national railway company recently apologised and agreed to make reparations for the role it played in deporting Jews to concentration camps during Germany’s occupation of the Netherlands.

National laws have been more concerned to date with preventing “trading with the enemy” than with their companies from being involved in international crimes, which is where international law has and can play an important role. But this is only a minor part of the book, which focuses primarily on the law applicable to the use, recruitment and treatment of individuals that provide assistance to an opposing party during an armed conflict. Nevertheless, it may be of interest to some readers

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