The ‘Revolving Door’ of Direct Participation in Hostilities

A Way Forward?

In: Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
Alessandro Silvestri PhD Candidate; International Law Tutor, Law School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Search for other papers by Alessandro Silvestri in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Contemporary trends of warfare have witnessed a so-called ‘civilian footprint’ in support of military operations while battlefields have increasingly shifted towards urban areas. International humanitarian law established a framework through which civilians are protected from direct attack ‘unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities’. Three key areas have traditionally been associated with the analysis of direct participation in hostilities (‘dph’): civilian legal status, what behaviour amounts to dph, and what modalities govern this loss of protection. This article will focus on the latter and attempt to create a feasible and practical framework capable of harnessing the temporal scope of dph and limit the so-called ‘revolving door phenomenon’. The framework developed in this article will account for criteria that could and should aid decision-making on the battlefield, most notably causal associations between individuals and dph acts and the physical or non-physical nature of dph acts’ deployments.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2077 530 23
Full Text Views 170 40 2
PDF Views & Downloads 424 108 8