Oxford University Press recently released Humanitarian Law in Action within Africa, written by UNM School of Law Regents Professor Jennifer Moore. Moore studies the role and application of humanitarian law by focusing on African countries emerging from civil wars.

Moore wrote on an International Law site, "The book is the culmination of a four-year project that started with a panel presentation on the relationship between criminal justice and restorative justice in countries coming out of armed conflict. Slowly a book evolved. It explores the interrelationships between humanitarian law, human rights, international criminal law, and refugee law as rules and tools for conflict resolution and social reconstruction."

Oxford's description of the book notes that Moore provides an overview of international law, including its essential vocabulary, and describes four particular subfields of international law: international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law, and international refugee law. After setting forth this overview, Moore considers practical mechanisms to implement international humanitarian law, focusing specifically on the experiences of Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Burundi. Through the case studies of these countries, Moore describes transitional justice's fundamental components: criminal, social and historical.

"Although the African continent has gone through some of the world's greatest humanitarian emergencies, issues such as violence against women, child soldiers, and genocide are not unique to Africa, and as such, the study of humanitarian law by examining Africa's experience is important to conflict resolution and reconstruction throughout the world," the editor wrote.

In addition to outlining the rules for international law in response to armed conflict, Moore also "describes visionary aspects of international humanitarian law, and considers which goals are most worthy and capable of implementation," according to the editor.

Karen Musalo, clinical professor of law and director, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California-Hastings College of the Law, reviewed Moore's book. "Humanitarian Law in Action within Africa is an ambitious book, which makes a compelling argument that durable peace with justice is possible - even in the aftermath of brutal armed conflicts. It will be of interest to anyone searching for a conceptual understanding of international law norms relevant to periods of armed and post-conflict. But perhaps, more importantly, Humanitarian Law should be required reading for anyone who wants to read a persuasive argument that a better world is possible."

Moore has worked for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, first as an associate protection officer in West Africa, then as a legal officer in Washington, D.C. Moore received her J.D. from Harvard and was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship.

Click here to read a UNM Today article about Moore and her research.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu