Lawfare (law + warfare) is a term used to describe legal actions that are meant to disrupt or harass an opponent, a means to score propaganda points, or to dissuade critics from publishing or voicing their opinions. The lawfare term has been utilized by states (or associated groups) to refer to civil society actions meant to use international law or international measures (e.g, universal jurisdiction, UN General Assembly motions, or civil society tribunals) to challenge the behavior/positions of states. Alternatively, lawfare also refers to disruptive and expensive legal actions by political legal groupings or states against civil society groupings or legal organizations (e.g., Israeli government or political grouping suing human rights organizations).
There are currently several conferences held at US, UK and Israeli universities focusing on lawfare. A section at the Herzeliya Conference in Israel is devoted to lawfare. And a variety of groups have arisen to combat lawfare or use it to their own advantage, e.g., The Lawfare project.
- Eyal Weizman, Lawfare in Gaza: legislative attack, OpenDemocracy, 25 February 2009.
- Yotam Feldman, Uri Blau and Yael Bogen,Consent and advise, Haaretz, 29 January 2009. (no longer available on the Haaretz website. Possible reason: one of the authors received classified military information and was subsequently hounded in Israel. The article contained a detailed discussion of the Israeli lawyers and academic jurists who sought to undermine legal actions undertaken by civil society groups against Israeli military personnel responsible for crimes in Gaza.).
- Daniel Machover, Kate Maynard and Raji Sourani, Lawfare over Gaza war and blocade, Letters, The Guardian, 5 January 2010.
- Ali Abunimah, Israel's new strategy: "sabotage" and "attack" the global justice movement, 16 February 2010.
- Philip Weiss , Columbia U. law dean chairs all-day anti-Goldstone hoedown, MondoWeiss, 23 February 2010.
- Max Blumenthal, Inside the Lawfare Project: Netanyahu's attack on human rights NGO's comes to the US, MondoWeiss, 13 March 2010.
- Reut Institute, The Gaza Flotilla: The Collapse of Israel's Political Firewall - Case Study, August 2010
- Maen Rashid Areikat, PLO urges Yale president to speak out on 'anti-Arab hate-mongering' conference, MondoWeiss, 30 August 2010. (refers to the "Lawfare, Human Rights Organizations and the Demonization of Israel" conference held at Yale Univ.)
- Philip Giraldi, Terrorizing Through Lawfare, AntiWar, 24 May 2012.
- The Lawfare Project (Accessed: 15 February 2010)