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Lawful Non-Human Targets

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Chapter Summary

The focus of this chapter is upon the interpretation of the test for when an object is a lawful military objective. This is essentially a matter of interpreting the various parts of article 52(2) API. The chapter argues that there is a distinction between the political goals and military goals in a conflict; and for targets to be lawful, only the advantage that serves a military goal can be assessed when determining whether a target is subject to lawful attack. As a result, it is the author argument that an object becomes a military objective only where the attack will directly or indirectly weaken the military capability of the enemy; and an object cannot be attacked just because damaging or destroying that object will contribute to the political or strategic goals of the armed conflict. The chapter describes the individual components of the article 52(2) API test.

Keywords: armed conflict; lawful attack; military objective; non-human targets



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