The Geneva Conventions of 1949 serve as the cornerstone for the law of war. They are not very long and are a must-read in developing an understanding of the law of war. The International Committee of the Red Cross has a page on their website entitled The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols with links to the Conventions, the additional protocols, and related documents.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the world’s leading humanitarian organization. Their War and International Humanitarian Law page provides access to a wide range of information on the law of war.
Congress tasked the American Red Cross with carrying out the purposes of the Geneva Conventions and one of their main goals is to promote education on international humanitarian law, particularly at the high school level. Their site International Humanitarian Law – Even in War, There Are Limits provides access to a range of information, including fact sheets on topics such as landmines, child soldiers and the distinction between international humanitarian law and human rights law.
The United Nations was founded in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II to maintain international peace and security. The U.N. plays a major role in efforts to avoid armed conflict, to intervene and restore peace when conflicts erupt, and in preventing impunity and facilitating reconciliation when conflicts end.
The Crimes of War Education Project is a collaborative effort of journalists, attorneys, and academics to promote public understanding of the law of war and to highlight war crimes in order to reduce violations. The Project publishes investigative articles and commentary on international humanitarian law issues and participates in programs to expand public awareness worldwide.
Conflict Map is a website that aggregates news about armed conflicts taking place around the world. You can find information by clicking on icons displayed on a world map representing sites where armed conflicts are taking place.
There are a number of non-governmental organizations involved in international humanitarian law with information available on their websites. Some of them have or send representatives where armed conflicts are likely or currently in progress, and they are often a good source of current information. They include: the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the American Society of International Law, Open Society Justice Initiative, the United States Institute of Peace, and Amnesty International.
The International and Operational Law Division of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School publishes a comprehensive manual entitled the Law of War Deskbook that is available online.
There are several blog sites that provide timely and helpful information that is often related to law of war issues. They include: Lawfare, Small Wars Journal, The CenterLine (NYU Law School Center on Law and Security), Impunity Watch (Syracuse University College of Law), and Security Law Brief (Georgetown National Security and the Law Center).
There are many sources of information available on Twitter that are useful in staying abreast of events related to the law of war. Among the ones I follow are: OSFJustice, IntCrimCourt, attackerman, deviatar, dafnalinzer, AJEnglish, ACLU, AmnestyOnline, ImpuniTweet, joshuafoust, charlie_savage, humanrights1st, speechboy71, hrw, un, and CrimesOfWarProj. (@NatSecZone’s Twitter list of these accounts is streaming on the right of this page and is available here).