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The Prohibition of Attacks Directed at Civilians or Civilian Objects and of Disproportionate Attacks as the Core Component of the Principle of Distinction in the Conduct of Hostilities in International Humanitarian Law

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Chapter Summary

The violations of international humanitarian law can be classified into two main groups. Firstly, there are violations committed by a party to the conflict against those protected persons and objects that are under its control ? usually against civilians and prisoners of war who are affiliated with the adverse party or against their property. Secondly, there are violations committed by a party to the conflict against protected persons and objects that are not under its control ? mostly affecting civilians or civilian objects that are affiliated with the adverse party. Accordingly, the aim of the law is not to make impossible the conduct of hostilities by prohibiting any damage to civilians or civilian objects, but to oblige the parties to the conflict to carry out their military operations with the care necessary to minimise loss of civilian life, injuries to civilians and harm to civilian objects.

Keywords: civilian objects; international humanitarian law; military operations

10.1163/ej.9789004162006.i-292.7
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004162006.i-292.7
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