Published by the ICRC, this book aims to clarify the meaning and consequences of direct participation in hostilities under international humanitarian law (IHL).
In recent years, the use of drones and other unmanned robots in warfare and other situations of violence has increased exponentially, and States continue to invest significantly into increasing the operational autonomy of such systems. The present study provides an overview of the current and likely future use of such systems and examines the relevant legal implications under human rights law, international humanitarian law and the UN Charter. The study concludes that the present sense of uncertainty as to the applicable legal standards, the rapid development and proliferation of drone and robotic technology, and the perceived lack of transparency and accountability of current policies have the potential of polarizing the international community, undermining the rule of law and, ultimately, of destabilizing the international security environment as a whole. Accordingly, the study develops a number of policy recommendations for European foreign policy.
"International Humanitarian Law: A Comprehensive Introduction" is an introductory handbook that aims to promote and strengthen knowledge of international humanitarian law (IHL) among academics, weapon-bearers, humanitarian workers and media professionals. It presents contemporary issues related to IHL in an accessible and practical style, and in line with the ICRC’s reading of the law. That, plus its distinctive format – combining “In a nutshell”, “To go further” and thematic textboxes – make it the ideal everyday companion for anyone approaching IHL for the first time and curious about conflict-related matters, as well as for military and humanitarian personnel seeking useful guidance on a vast array of topics.
This book is a comprehensive analysis of the lawfulness of state-sponsored targeted killings under international human rights and humanitarian law. It examines treaties, custom, and general principles of law to determine two distinct normative paradigms which govern the intentional use of lethal force against selected individuals in law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities. It also addresses the relevance of the law of interstate force to targeted killings, and the interrelation of the various normative frameworks which may simultaneously apply to operations involving the use of lethal force. The book shows in what circumstances targeted killings may be considered as internationally lawful. The practical relevance of the various conditions and modalities are illustrated by reference to concrete examples of targeted killing from recent state practice. The book argues that any targeted killing not directed against a legitimate military target remains subject to the law enforcement paradigm, which imposes extensive restraints on the practice. Even under the paradigm of hostilities, no person can be lawfully liquidated without further considerations. As a form of individualized or surgical warfare, the method of targeted killing requires a ‘microscopic’ interpretation of the law regulating the conduct of hostilities which leads to nuanced results reflecting the fundamental principles underlying international humanitarian law. It concludes by highlighting and comparing the main areas of concern arising with regard to state-sponsored targeted killing, and by placing the results of the analysis in the greater context of the rule of law