Francis Lieber's Code and Principles of Humanity*

Theodor Meron

in War Crimes Law Comes of Age

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683534 | DOI:
Francis Lieber's Code and Principles of Humanity*

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The range of Francis Lieber's writings is extraordinary. He made important contributions to U.S. constitutional law, military law, international law, political science, penal law, and educational policy. His essays on international law include the advocacy of both international arbitration and international copyright. He challenged the ‘fallacies of American Protectionists’ and tackled hermeneutics. Above all, the work that ensured Lieber's lasting fame was his Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field (1863), originally published as General Orders No. 100, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, on April 24, 1863. The culmination of his long interest in the history and laws of war, Lieber's Code ultimately stemmed from the initiative he voiced persistently to General Halleck, the general in charge of the Union forces and himself a writer on international law.

Keywords: armies; laws of war; international law

Chapter.  5184 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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