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What Happens to Law in Times of War?


Whenever war breaks out in a country, it may seem like everything about the law has been thrown out the window. This is the case, especially when killings or people are getting hurt. Sometimes, no one gets to account for the destruction of valuable property. That is why there is a question on if the law applies when there is a war.

What is the Law of War?

This law states that whenever a war breaks out, there should be the protection of human lives, aiming to reduce suffering. Suffering is caused either mentally or physically. Some people are direct victims of war. For example, a team in the army fighting for their country is a direct victim of war.

It would be best if you enforced a law to ensure that such people are protected from suffering that comes about physically or mentally. While this is the law, there are a few reasons that make it difficult to enforce it and protect those directly involved. The factors include:

  • Rapid changes and development of newer weapons

With improved technology comes better weapons to use while at war. You can expect that these new weapons are tougher and tend to do a better job. Take, for instance, guns that can load a dozen bullets at a go. The ones at war must protect themselves, and some end up getting physically wounded in the process. To ensure that the law is enforced in such a case, those at war need to be trained prior and advised on using these weapons appropriately.

  • Needed self-defense

You can expect so much self-defense going on during a war. An example is someone coming at you with a developed weapon. You already know that the moment they execute using their weapon, you could be injured or probably lose yourself. This is what we call physical suffering. As such, the rule of law fails to apply because one must protect themselves and ensure that what took one to war is accomplished.

  • Judicial decisions

Some decisions made by the judicial law are completely irrevocable. The decisions are either working in favor of those going into war or against them. These decisions could, at some point, completely interfere with what the law is. Some judicial decisions may be against the conviction of any people at war for bringing suffering to another party.


There has been an enforced law in line with a war whose intention is to protect the people going into war. The law focuses on eliminating anything that is not good for a state or country. However, the factors as mentioned above are just a few that have stood in the way of the good law being practiced. While some reasons like self-defense are valid and logical, some go against showing kindness to humanity. As a result, there is an increase in the war between countries and states even in this 21st century. The law is meant to bring more good than harm.

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