skip to content

Violence Research Centre


On 6 June 2017, the Violence Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, will host Dr Frank Ledwidge for a discussion based on his forthcoming publication, titled “Rebel Law: Insurgents, Courts and Justice in Modern Conflict”.

Successful rebels put courts and justice at the top of their agendas. Rebel Law examines how justice is used by insurgent groups, ranging from the IRA, the Taliban and ISIS. Insurgent courts bleed legitimacy from government, decide cases and enforce judgments on the battlefield itself. Astute counterinsurgents in ‘ungoverned space’ can ensure that they retain the initiative. Ledwidge also describes French, Turkish and British colonial ‘judicial strategy’ and contrasts these experiences with the chaos of more recent ‘stabilisation operations’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, drawing lessons for contemporary counterinsurgents.

Rebel Law builds on these insights and shows that the courts themselves can be used as weapons for both sides in a world gripped by highly unconventional warfare.

Dr Frank Ledwidge served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq as a military intelligence officer and in Afghanistan as a civilian justice advisor. He currently teaches at the Royal Air Force College and is also a former barrister. His books include Losing Small Wars: British Military Failure in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011) and Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain's Afghan War (2013).

This event will be held on Tuesday, 6 June from 5:30-7pm with a drinks reception afterwards. The venue is Room B3, Institute of Criminology, Sidgwick Avenue, University of Cambridge.

Tuesday, 6 June, 2017 - 17:30 to 19:00
Event location: 
B3, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge

Join the VRC on social media!

Would you like to stay updated about the Violence Research Centre's research, events, news in the field of global violence reduction and opportunities to work with us? "Like" us on Facebook. If you have missed some of our events, please visit our YouTube Channel. You can also find us on LinkedIn and Twitter