The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Law of War Manual, first published in 2015, sets out the DoD’s authoritative interpretation of international law on matters relating to armed conflict. In recognition of its size, breadth, and the evolving nature of law and conflict, the Manual is also a living document that anticipates needing revisions and updates. In A Living Document, published by Just Security and the Reiss Center on Law and Security, leading scholars and practitioners reflect on how the Manual is keeping pace with its stated purpose and examine specific topics and rules where the Manual may be ripe for clarification or strengthening.


Assessing the DoD Law of War Manual’s Approach to Treaties and Customary International Law

Sean Murphy, Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law, George Washington University School of Law


The Principle of Proportionality in the DoD Law of War Manual

Michael W. Meier, Visiting Professor, Emory University School of Law and Acting Director, Emory International Humanitarian Law Clinic


Protected Persons and the ‘Geographic Nexus’ Requirement in the DoD Law of War Manual

Eliav LieblichProfessor of Law, Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University