For a number of reasons, this book had to be converted fairly quickly from the Ph.D thesis on which it was based. Despite my efforts, it may therefore be rather doctrinal in style, and I apologise for this.
In writing on this subject I did from time to time feel constrained and frustrated by the strait-jacket of legal concepts and terminology, which seemed so remote from the devastating reality that is the experience of children in armed conflict. It was important to me constantly to bear in mind that reality, and a sense of the law as a tool in that wider context. I hope the readers of this book will find it possible to do the same.