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Weighing Lives in War$
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Jens David Ohlin, Larry May, and Claire Finkelstein

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198796176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198796176.001.0001

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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: 22 January 2022

A Theory of Jus in Bello Proportionality

A Theory of Jus in Bello Proportionality

(p.188) 8 A Theory of Jus in Bello Proportionality
Weighing Lives in War

Adil Ahmad Haque

Oxford University Press

The chapter argues that an attack that inflicts harm on civilians is proportionate only if it prevents the opposing party from inflicting substantially greater harm on the attacking force or civilians in current or future military operations. This account does not compare incommensurable values, only immediate losses to civilians and future losses to civilians and to attacking forces. In addition, it applies symmetrically to all parties to an armed conflict, independently of the jus ad bellum morality and legality of their use of military force. Attacks that are disproportionate under this account are morally impermissible when carried out by just combatants, and disproportionate attacks carried out by unjust combatants are morally worse than proportionate attacks carried out by unjust combatants. Finally, the chapter explores a number of decision procedures and rules of engagement that officers may use to make the best possible decision given the limited information available to them.

Keywords:   proportionality, collateral damage, doing and allowing, rules of engagement, jus ad bellum, jus in bello, law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, targeting

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