Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

Part IV Key Concepts for Humanitarian Law, Ch.12 The Principle of Distinction Between Civilians and Combatants

Nils Melzer

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict

Edited By: Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta, Tom Haeck (Assistant Editor), Alice Priddy (Assistant Editor)

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 11 December 2023

Combatants — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Armed conflict — Protected persons and property
The primary aim of the law of armed conflict, here referred to as international humanitarian law (IHL), is to protect the victims of armed conflict and to regulate the conduct of hostilities based on a balance between military necessity and humanity. The undisputed cornerstone of IHL is the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants, which obliges belligerents to distinguish at all times between persons who may be lawfully attacked, and persons who must be spared and protected from the effects of the hostilities. In order to avoid any ambiguity,...
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.