Weapons under International Law – emerging principles for stifling tools of violence

For virtually all of human history, the progression of weapons technologies has impacted our collective destiny, inflicting death and destruction on a scale second only to disease.   In the last half-century, however, controls have put into place first concerning nuclear weapons, then chemical and biological weapons, and later landmines and lasers.  Recently, attention has turned to controlling small weapons that are ubiquitously used to commit actual violence.  Through this process, international law has emerged as an ever-strengthening set of principles that strive toward peace and security.  Understanding these emerging legal principles is key to preventing relapses into war.

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Prof. Barry Kellman teaches courses in Public International Law, International Criminal Law, International Legal Control of Weapons, Environmental Law, International Environmental Justice, and Global Climate Change at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, USA.

His professional attention for the past 25 years has focused on issues of global weapons control and security.

Prof. Kellman has published articles on (1) the newly adopted United Nations Arms Trade Treaty; (2) the legal responsibility for debris in space under international environmental law; (3) the risks of the U.S. government transferring firearms export control away from the State Department; and (4) the constitutionality of enforcement actions under the United States Chemical Weapons Convention Implementing Legislation.  He is currently working on two new articles:  (1) the legal significance of prosecutions against international weapons traffickers; and (2) the application of international criminal law to the Syrian use of chemical weapons.   Prof. Kellman is also engaged in a long-term book project:  Weapons Under Law. 

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