The changes in how lawyers approach the use of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) in the post-9/11 landscape are discussed in a January 2014 law review. Naz K. Modirzadeh argues that “folk international law,” a “law-like discourse that relies on a confusing and soft admixture of IHL, jus ad bellum, and IHRL” is being increasingly used as framework for the global war on terror.

Modirzadeh shows that the use of IHL and IHRL by lawyers and advocates in the past decade in the context of detainee rights, international vs. non-international armed conflict debates, participation of civilians in hostilities and targeted killings has significantly changed the disciplines. This change could have fundamental impacts on the “extent to which international law can meaningfully constrain authority during the tumult of armed conflict and other situations of lethal force…”