How Much is Too Much? An Examination of the Principle of Jus in Bello Proportionality

Israel Defense Forces Law Review, Vol. 2, 2005-2006

63 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2006  

Hamutal Esther Shamash

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

The Principle of Proportionality, codified in Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions, defines as disproportionate any attack in which the incidental damage to civilians is excessive in relation to the military advantage anticipated from the attack. However, it is close to impossible to pinpoint exactly what is meant by "excessive." This writer posits that this vagueness is not a coincidence, but rather a tool, serving the purposes of attacking states. It is argued that international legal discourse blurs this definition, and this is demonstrated with reference to NATO's operations in Kosovo. It is submitted that, despite this, it would be beneficial to define this requirement more clearly, and a way in which this could be accomplished is suggested.

Keywords: International Law, Geneva additional protocol, target selection, targeting, proportionality, International humanitarian law

Suggested Citation

Shamash, Hamutal Esther, How Much is Too Much? An Examination of the Principle of Jus in Bello Proportionality. Israel Defense Forces Law Review, Vol. 2, 2005-2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=908369

Hamutal Esther Shamash (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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