Laws of War Law and Legal Definition

Laws of war refer to the body of law that concerns the acceptable justifications to engage in war and the limits to the conduct or justification of war. It is an aspect of public international law and contains guidelines and laws on the conduct of combat and the protection of victims contained in the Paris Declarations, the Hague Conventions, the St. Petersburg Convention, and the Geneva Conventions. The law addresses declarations of war, acceptance of surrender and the treatment of prisoners of war; military necessity and the prohibition of certain weapons that may cause unnecessary sufferings.