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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Hors de combat

Dorota Marianna Banaszewska

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 12 July 2020

Subject(s):
Combatants — Geneva Conventions 1949 Additional Protocol 1 — Protected persons and property

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Given that armed conflict is still ‘a contest between organized belligerent forces, not individual operatives’ (Corn and others 557), the primary objective of belligerents is to defeat the enemy in the collective sense (see inter alia the 1868 Saint Petersburg Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles under 400 Grammes Weight, according to which ‘the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy’). With respect to the individual enemy operatives, acting...
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