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Part Two Precautions, 7 High-Tech Civilians, Participation in Hostilities, and Criminal Liability: Reconciling U.S. Perspectives

Matthew T. King

From: The Impact of Emerging Technologies on the Law of Armed Conflict

Edited By: MAJ Ronald TP Alcala, Eric Talbot Jensen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 01 December 2023

Aggression — Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities — Protective measures — Military matters

The challenge presented by civilians on, near, and affecting the battlefield is an enduring issue in the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). At its core, the LOAC seeks to protect civilians from the dangers of hostilities. The challenge, then, involves adhering to this general respect and protection standard, while balancing the need to send forces (which may include civilian members) to prosecute armed conflicts (which may involve enemy civilian participants). As advancements in technology and a growing dependence on civilian expertise in armed conflict begin to blur the distinction between civilian activity and direct participation in hostilities, how will military forces ensure civilians are properly protected on the battlefield? At what point does civilian involvement in military operations become direct participation in the conflict?

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