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posted 10 Jan 2011, 11:33 by Jess Maher   [ updated 10 Jan 2011, 11:37 ]

Lawfare is a form of asymmetric warfare.[1] Lawfare is waged via the use of domestic or international law with the intention of damaging an opponent. Examples include winning a public relations victory, financially crippling an opponent, or tying up the opponent's time so that they cannot pursue other ventures such as run for public office. [2]

Lawfare can also denote the use of the law as a weapon of war, or more specifically, the abuse of the law and legal systems for strategic political or military ends. 

Critical scholars understand lawfare as the use of law to effectuate subordination, conquest or control of subaltern or, generally, less powerful groups. The use of legal discourse (e.g., drafting and circulation of “internal” government legal memoranda rationalizing the use of widely condemned interrogation practices) often accompanies various forms of imperial, nationalist or even social hegemony.