The San Remo Manual on the Law of Naval Warfare: from Restatement to Development?

Liesbeth Lijnzaad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The chapter examines the 1994 San Remo Manual in International Law applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, as a compilation of rules on naval warfare. It was described by the expert authors as a ‘contemporary restatement—together with some progressive development’. By 2020, another group of experts had begun discussions on revising the 1994 San Remo Manual. While a restatement may seem to make sense in view of the age of the original treaties, this chapter will question the reasons for making a restatement, and the way in which this is being done. Even if restatements may be a harmless re-reading of the law, in view of contemporary situations, a question arises with respect to how often, or how long, this can be done. The chapter explores what is labelled the ‘elasticity’ of reinterpretation, based on the understanding that reinterpretation has a purpose, and is not a merely objective act.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnconventional Lawmaking in the Law of the Sea
EditorsNatalie Klein
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780192897824
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2022


  • experts
  • international lawmaking
  • law of naval warfare
  • law of the sea
  • non-state actors
  • san remo manual
  • sources of international law
  • treaty interpretation


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