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laws of war

plural noun

the international conventions and rules that limit what is considered proper conduct in warfare

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Encyclopedia Article for laws of war

law of war

that part of international law dealing with the inception, conduct, and termination of warfare. Its aim is to limit the suffering caused to combatants and, more particularly, to those who may be described as the victims of war-that is, noncombatant civilians and those no longer able to take part in hostilities. Thus, the wounded, the sick, the shipwrecked, and prisoners of war also require protection by law

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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