Critiquing the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission's Interpretation of the Rules on Legitimate Military Objectives: Aerial Bombardment of the Hirgigo Electric Power Station

26 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2016

See all articles by Senai W. Andemariam

Senai W. Andemariam

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law

Isaias Yemane Tesfalidet

Yale University, Law School, Students

Michael Affa

University Of Asmara, Students (Deceased)

Date Written: November 14, 2016

Abstract

On 19 December 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (the Commission), in a six-page decision, concluded, by majority vote, that ‘… in the circumstances prevailing on May 28, 2000, the Hirgigo power station was a military objective, as defined in Article 52, paragraph 2, of Geneva Protocol I and that Ethiopia’s aerial bombardment of it was not unlawful.’ The award is the only one in the Commission’s fifteen Awards where a decision was made by majority of votes; the rest were decided unanimously. The substance of the majority’s award and the process it followed to arrive at the conclusion, however, raises some important questions regarding the construal of the relevant provisions of Geneva Protocol I and the weighing and balancing of evidence that an international tribunal such as the Commission must employ. This publication will try to highlight some flaws in the award and discuss how the totality of the handling of the dispute by the majority of the Commission and suggest ways how the majority should have interpreted the relevant international humanitarian law instruments.

Keywords: Geneva Protocol I, Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, civilian objects, economic targets, Hirgigo power station

Suggested Citation

Andemariam, Senai W. and Tesfalidet, Isaias Yemane and Affa, Michael, Critiquing the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission's Interpretation of the Rules on Legitimate Military Objectives: Aerial Bombardment of the Hirgigo Electric Power Station (November 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2869126 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2869126

Senai W. Andemariam (Contact Author)

Maastricht University, Faculty of Law ( email )

Maastricht
Netherlands

Isaias Yemane Tesfalidet

Yale University, Law School, Students ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Michael Affa

University Of Asmara, Students (Deceased)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
81
Abstract Views
534
Rank
449,025
PlumX Metrics