Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

11 Precautions in Attack and Defence

From: The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in Context

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 10 December 2023

Defences — Military objectives — Weapons — Armed attack

This chapter tackles the requirement imposed upon attackers and defenders when taking feasible precautions to protect civilians. It also acknowledges how the requirement coincided with the principles of distinction and proportionality in the attack. The notion of precautionary measures aims to minimise civilian harm by ensuring that few if any civilians are present amidst an attack strike and limiting the ambient effects of an attack to a military objective. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the provisions were the subject of protracted and difficult negotiations in the diplomatic conference that adopted the Protocol. Moreover, the UN Secretary-General called on all parties to the conflict to refrain from using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, as discussions still continue concerning the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA).

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.