Targeted Killing as Active Self-Defense

16 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2005 Last revised: 6 Feb 2013

See all articles by Amos N. Guiora

Amos N. Guiora

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: June 29, 2010


The paper argues that targeted killing is a legitimate form of active self-defense in the context of anticipatory self-defense. If the decision to target a particular individual is based on reliable and corroborated intelligence information and on the premise that no alternatives exist (the individual for operational reasons may not be arrested) and the individual to be targeted is a significant terrorist whose death will impact upon the terrorist organization then the decision is legal. In addition, the article calls for a revamping of international law reflecting the reality that traditional warfare between states has been replaced by armed conflict between states and non-state actors, some state supported, others not.

Keywords: Terrorism, Targeted Killing, Right to Active Self-Defense, Palestinian, Israel

JEL Classification: K19, K33, K49

Suggested Citation

Guiora, Amos N., Targeted Killing as Active Self-Defense (June 29, 2010). Case Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming, Case Western Researh Journal Int'l Law, Vol. 36, p. 319, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Amos N. Guiora (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

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Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
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