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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Proportionality

Emily Crawford

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 July 2024

Subject(s):
General principles of international law — Proportionality and immediacy — Military objectives — Geneva Conventions 1949 Additional Protocol 1 — Proportionality

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Proportionality is a principle found in a number of different areas of both international and domestic law, including the law of armed conflict, the law of treaties, the law regarding the use of force, maritime delimitation law, and human rights law. As such, it has a number of different permutations according to the specific area in which it operates. However, as a general principle (General Principles of Law), proportionality means that a State’s acts must be a rational and reasonable exercise of means towards achieving a permissible goal, without unduly...
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