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Part C Hostilities, XI The Principle of Distinction under International Humanitarian Law

From: Targeted Killing in International Law

Nils Melzer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 May 2024

Subject(s):
Combatants — Armed conflict — Principle of distinction — Protected persons and property — Proportionality
Under the international normative paradigm of hostilities, the lawfulness of intentional deprivations of life depends primarily—but not exclusively—on whether the targeted person represents a legitimate military objective. The determination of whether a person represents a legitimate military objective is, in turn, governed by the fundamental principle of distinction, which is the basis and corner stone of the law of hostilities.1 As far as persons are concerned, this principle obliges all those involved in the conduct of hostilities to distinguish between persons...
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