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Hybrid Warfare as a method of war is not new. Hybrid Warfare as a method of warfare has its roots in methods of war fighting of past conflicts; while not necessarily new as a category of conflict, it has the potential to change the future conceptualisation of conflict.
This paper introduces the reader to the mutating military concept of Hybrid Warfare and Lawfare, the use of law as a weapon. By examining several present and past examples, the paper tries to foster discussion and thought on how to use Lawfare affirmatively in support of own objectives and to prevent opponents from successfully using law maliciously for their own purposes and objectives.
It also includes some reflection on The North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) open source perspective on ‘Hybrid Threats’.
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The Centre for Military Studies (CEMIS) was established in 1990 under the aegis of Stellenbosch University and the SANDF as an integral part of the contractual agreement between Stellenbosch University and the South African National Defence (SANDF) as approved by the US Senate and Board since 1996. CEMIS is housed within the Faculty of Military Science at Saldanha.
The overall aim is to strenghten the existing collaborative ties between BU and Stellenbosch University in conjunction with the Swedish Defence University with the further goal of joint research bids, publications and exchange of personnel.
Dr Beukes (CEMIS, US), Dr S Bachmann (BU) and Prof Liebenberg (CEMIS, US)
Associate Professor in International Law (BU) and War Studies (FHS) Sascha Dov Bachmann just returned from Johannesburg where he presented on Hybrid War and Lawfare at the 1st International Military Law Conference in South Africa. A great experience and and from a media point of view as well as from a BU research point of view the conference and its coverage in the regional African and international media were a full success.
The reference below is taken from the official SA Government Media release and was taken up by various media sites inside the African Union and abroad: the UK, US, Ghana,Kenya, Sudan, NZ etc and reads as follows:
“The rest of the first day (under the sub-theme International Military Law) unpacked issues relating to the permissible and legal use of armed force by States, and the legal rules governing soldiers during such armed conflicts. Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann of Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom presented a paper setting out the implications of so-called “hybrid war” and the offensive and defensive use of “lawfare” (the use of litigation for political purposes aimed at impacting a State’s military operations). ”
defenceWeb – Africa’s leading defence news portal summarizes the objectives of the conference as:
The conference theme of “contemporary military law” was explored with sub-themes relating to international military law, human rights law, operational law and administration of military justice.
The objectives of the conference – to raise public awareness of the importance of military law in a democracy and to stimulate interest in academic research in this specialised field of public law to strengthen the development of South African military law – were successfully met with a number of international and local academics and military professionals presenting research papers, according to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The conference was officially opened by SA National Defence Force Chief, General Solly Shoke. In his opening address he welcomed the opportunity provided by the conference for South African military lawyers to benchmark local approaches with that of other armed forces. He also expressed the wish for the conference to provide a basis for evaluating whether any amendments to military and other legislation may be necessary to empower commanders to instil and maintain military discipline.