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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the international humanitarian law (IHL) targeting aspect of the principle. It provides an in-depth analysis of the codified principle of proportionality. The chapter reviews what can be considered as a military advantage when assessing the proportionality of an attack and what must be assessed as collateral damage. While the term collateral damage is often used, there has been only limited discussion in case law and legal literature of exactly what is and what is not legally considered collateral damage. It is essential to determine this if a proper assessment of the proportionality of an attack is to be undertaken, either prior to the attack or as part of an analysis after the event. The chapter discusses whether human shields, be they involuntary or voluntary human shields, are counted as collateral damage.

Keywords: collateral damage; human shields; international humanitarian law (IHL); military attack; proportionality rule



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