Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Targeted Killing in International Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nils Melzer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533169.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 May 2021

The Principle of Distinction under International Humanitarian Law

The Principle of Distinction under International Humanitarian Law

(p.300) XI The Principle of Distinction under International Humanitarian Law
Targeted Killing in International Law

Nils Melzer

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the principle of distinction in contemporary International Humanitarian Law (IHL). As a general rule, the principle of distinction permits direct attacks only against the armed forces of the parties to the conflict, while the peaceful civilian population must be spared and protected against the effects of the hostilities. This chapter first distinguishes and defines the notions of civilian, member of the armed forces and combatant under the law governing both in international and non-international armed conflict, clarifies when civilians can be regarded as directly participating in hostilities entailing loss of protection against direct attack, and also examines various aspects of the duty to avoid "collateral damage", which is inherent in the principle of distinction.

Keywords:   principle of distinction, armed forces, combatant, civilian, armed conflict, hostilities, direct participation in hostilities, proportionality in attack, precaution in attack, organized armed group

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .