Rethinking the Divide between Jus Ad Bellum and Jus in Bello in Warfare Against Nonstate Actors

Yale Journal of International Law, 2009

8 Pages Posted: 13 May 2009  

Eyal Benvenisti

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 13, 2009

Abstract

Nonstate actors exploit and, hence, challenge two basic assumptions that have grounded jus in bello since its inception: that it is possible to compartmentalize the battlefield and isolate with sufficient clarity, military from civilian targets and that there are clear objectives to any military campaign, such as gaining control over territory. With no tangible military objectives, regular armies are often tempted to simply capture or kill as many of their opponents as possible or to intimidate their opponents’ non-combatant constituency. The essay argues that those concerned with the protection of non-combatants in such asymmetric conflicts should consider introducing jus ad bellum considerations in assessing compliance with jus in bello obligations.

Keywords: International Law, Laws of War, Asymmetric Warfare

Suggested Citation

Benvenisti, Eyal, Rethinking the Divide between Jus Ad Bellum and Jus in Bello in Warfare Against Nonstate Actors (May 13, 2009). Yale Journal of International Law, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1403882

Eyal Benvenisti (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge Faculty of Law ( email )

Lauterpacht Centre for International Law
5 Cranmer Centre
Cambridge, CB3 9BL
United Kingdom

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