The Contemporary Law of Targeting

Military Objectives, Proportionality and Precautions in Attack under Additional Protocol I


Armed conflict is about using force to achieve goals. As international humanitarian law regulates the means and methods that a belligerent may adopt to achieve its goals, there will inevitably be disagreements over the interpretation of that law. As for the rules that regulate targeting, the main difficulties arise over what is a lawful target and what is proportional collateral damage. This book provides a detailed analysis of those issues. Also, a chapter is dedicated to considering how United Nations Security Council sanctioning of participation in an armed conflict might affect the range of lawful targets available to a belligerent. Finally, a process is described by which legal responsibility for targeting decisions can be assessed in a complex decision-making environment.

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Ian S. Henderson Ph.D (2008) in Law, University of Melbourne, is a legal officer serving with the Royal Australian Air Force and is currently the Deputy Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law. He was the senior Australian Air Force legal officer in the Combined Air Operations Center during the 2003 conflict in the Middle East.
"Henderson has managed to present a highly valuable analysis of the law of targeting. It is hard to see how this book will not have to be on the desk and even in the satchel of every military officer engaged with the law of targeting.
(...) an excellent study that will be the standard text in this area for the time being."
Professor Jürgen Bröhmer, University of New England, New Zealand and Australian Armed Forces Law Review, Vol 10 & 11, 2010-11.
Foreword; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Glossary;
Chapter 1 Introduction;
Chapter 2 What is the law applicable to targeting?;
Part I The Law Concerning What Are Lawful Targets
Chapter 3 Lawful non-human targets;
Chapter 4 Lawful human targets;
Chapter 5 Effects-based operations and controversial military Objectives;
Chapter 6 United Nations operations: does the law of targeting differ?;
Part II The Law Concerning Attacking a Target Lawfully
Chapter 7 Precautions in attack;
Chapter 8 Proportionality;
Chapter 9 Who owns the bomb?;
Chapter 10 Conclusions and implications;
Bibliography; Index.
All those interested in international humanitarian law, the law that applies during armed conflict, as well as military planners and commanders, military lawyers, and public international law academics and institutions.
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