Event / Royal United Services Institute, London

Book Launch – Rebel Law: Insurgents, Courts and Justice in Modern Conflict w/ Frank Ledwidge

4 May 2017 – 18:00
At this event Frank Ledwidge will discuss his new book, a revealing and unique account of how courts and judgments are used to gain and retain control in insurgencies.

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.

Rebel Law
Insurgents, Courts and Justice in Modern Conflict
Royal United Services Institute, London
Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies