Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Do attackers have a legal duty of care? Limits to the ‘individualization of war’

  • Janina Dill (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Does International Humanitarian Law (IHL) impose a duty of care on the attacker? From a moral point of view, should it? This article argues that the legal situation is contestable, and the moral value of a legal duty of care in attack is ambivalent. This is because a duty of care is both a condition for and an obstacle to the ‘individualization of war’. The individualization of war denotes an observable multi-dimensional norm shift in international relations. Norms for the regulation of war that focus on the interests, rights, and duties of the individual have gained in importance compared to those that focus on the interests, rights, and duties of the state. As the individual, not the state, is the ultimate locus of moral value, this norm shift in international relations, and the corresponding developments in international law, are morally desirable. When it comes to IHL, the goal of protecting the interests of the individual creates strong reasons both for and against imposing a legal duty of care on the attacker. The enquiry into whether IHL does and should impose a legal duty of care therefore reveals that the extent to which war can be individualized is limited.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Do attackers have a legal duty of care? Limits to the ‘individualization of war’
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Do attackers have a legal duty of care? Limits to the ‘individualization of war’
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Do attackers have a legal duty of care? Limits to the ‘individualization of war’
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email: Janina.Dill@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

References

Hide All
Belt, Stuart W. 2000. “Missiles Over Kosovo: Emergence, Lex Lata, of a Customary Norm Requiring the Use of Precision Munitions in Urban Areas.” Naval Law Review 47:115175.
Berster, Lars C. 2010. “‘Duty to Act’ and ‘Commission by Omission’ in International Criminal Law.” International Criminal Law Review 10:619646.
Blum, Gabriella. 2014. “The Individualization of War: From War to Policing in the Regulation of Armed Conflicts.” In Law and War, edited by Austin Sarat, Lawrence Douglas, and Martha Merrill, 4883. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Blum, Gabriella. 2010. “The Dispensable Lives of Soldiers.” Journal of Legal Analysis 2:69124.
Bohrer, Ziv. 2012. “The Superior Orders Defense: A Principal Agent Analysis.” Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 41:174.
McBride, Nicholas J. Bagshaw, Roderick. 2005. Tort Law. Harlow, UK: Pearson Longman.
Crawford, Neta. 2013. Accountability for Killing: Moral Responsibility for Collateral Damage in America’s Post-9/11 Wars. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Dill, Janina. 2013. “Should International Law Ensure the Moral Acceptability of War?Leiden Journal of International Law 26:253270.
Dill, Janina. 2015. Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International Law, and US Bombing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Dinstein, Yoram. 2016. The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Dormann, Knut. 2003. Elements of War Crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Sources and Commentary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Droege, Cordula. 2007. “The Interplay Between IHL and IHR in Situations of Armed Conflict.” Israel Law Review 40:310355.
Dumont, Louis. 1986. Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.
Dunlap, Charles J. 2001. “Law and Military Interventions, Preserving Humanitarian Values in 21st Century Conflicts.” Accessed July 27, 2016, http://people.duke.edu/~pfeaver/dunlap.pdf
Duttwiler, Michael. 2006. “Liability for Omission in International Criminal Law.” International Criminal Law Review 6:161.
Elliott, Michael A. 2007. “Human Rights and the Triumph of the Individual in World Culture.” Cultural Sociology 1:343363.
Fabre, Cécile. 2012. Cosmopolitan War. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Fenrick, William. J. 2004. “The Prosecution of Unlawful Attack Cases Before the ICTY.” Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 7:153189.
Fletcher, George P. 1998. Basic Concepts of Criminal Law. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Fletcher, George P. 2012. “The Theory of Criminal Liability and International Criminal Law.” Journal of International Criminal Justice 10:10291044.
Forsythe, David P. 2006. Human Rights in International Relations. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Goldberg, John C. P. Zipursky, Benjamin C. 2007. “Tort Law and Moral Luck.” Cornell Law Review 92:11231176.
Greenwood, Christopher J. 2008. “Historical Development and Legal Basis.” In The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 2nd ed. edited by Dieter Fleck, 142. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Habermas, Jürgen. 1996. Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy. Boston, MA: MIT Press.
Haque, Adil A. 2010. “Criminal Law and Morality at War.” In Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law, edited by R. A. Duff and Stuart P. Green, 481506. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Haque, Adil A. 2011. “Protecting and Respecting Civilians: Correcting the Substantive and Structural Defects of the Rome Statute.” New Criminal Law Review 4:519575.
Haque, Adil A. 2012. “Killing in the Fog of War.” Southern California Law Review 86:63116.
Haque, Adil A. 2017. Law and Morality at War. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Honoré, Anthony. 1988. “Responsibility and Luck: The Moral Foundations of Strict Liability.” Quarterly Law Review 104:530553.
Honoré, Anthony. 1999. Responsibility and Fault. London, UK: Hart Publishing.
Hurka, Thomas. 2005. “Proportionality in the Morality of War.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 33:3466.
Hylton, Keith N. 2016. Tort Law: A Modern Perspective. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
International Committee of the Red Cross. 1978. Official Records of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1974-1977), Volumes I to XIV.
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. 2000. Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Isaac, Tracey. 2011. Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Issacharoff, Samuel Pildes, Richard. 2013. “Targeted Warfare: Individuating Enemy Responsibility.” New York University Law Review 88:15211599.
Jaworski, Eric. 2003. “‘Military Necessity’ and ‘Civilian Immunity’: Where is the Balance?Chinese Journal of International Law 1:175206.
Luban, David. 2014. “Risk Taking and Force Protection.” In Reading Walzer, edited by Yitzhak Benbaji, and Naomi Sussman, 277301. London and New York: Routledge.
May, Larry. 2007. War Crimes and Just War. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
McMahan, Jeff. 2009. Killing in War. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
McMahan, Jeff. 2015. “Proportionality and Time.” Ethics 125:124.
Meron, Theodor. 2000. “The Humanization of Humanitarian Law.” American Journal of International Law 94:239278.
Milanović, Marco. 2016. “The Lost Origins of Lex Specialis: Rethinking the Relationship Between HR and IHL.” In Theoretical Boundaries of Armed Conflict and Human Rights, edited by Jens David Ohlin, 78117. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Ohlin, Jens David. 2013a. “The Duty to Capture.” Minnesota Law Review 97:12681342.
Ohlin, Jens David. 2013b. “Targeting and the Concept of Intent.” Michigan Journal of International Law 35:79130.
Ohlin, Jens David May, Larry. 2016. Necessity in International Law. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Parlett, Kate. 2011. The Individual in the International Legal System: Continuity and Change in International Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Perry, Stephen R. 1992. “The Moral Foundations of Tort Law.” Iowa Law Review 77:449514.
Quéguiner, Jean-François. 2006. “Precautions Under the Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities.” International Review of the Red Cross 88:793821.
Reus-Smit, Christian. 2013. Individual Rights and the Making of the International System. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sandoz, Yves, Swinarski, Christophe Zimmermann, Bruno. eds. 1987. Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1997 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. Geneva, Switzerland: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Schabas, William. 1998. “General Principles of Criminal Law in the International Criminal Court Statute.” European Journal of Crime, Criminal Justice and Criminal Law 4:400428.
Schmitt, Michael N. 2002. “Ethics and Military Force: The Jus in Bello.” Accessed July 27, 2016, https://www.carnegiecouncil.org/studio/multimedia/20020107/index.html
Schmitt, Michael N. 2003. “The Impact of High and Low-Tech Warfare on the Principle of Distinction.” Briefing Paper, Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University, Boston, MA.
Schmitt, Michael N. 2006. “Precision Attack and International Humanitarian Law.” International Review of the Red Cross 87:445466.
Schmitt, Michael N. 2010. “Military Necessity and Humanity in International Humanitarian Law: Preserving the Delicate Balance.” Vanderbilt Journal of International Law 50:795839.
Shue, Henry. 2010. “Do we Need a Morality of War.” In Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers, edited by David Rodin and Henry Shue, 87111. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Sikkink, Kathryn. 2011. The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics. New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company.
Statman, Daniel, Sulitzeanu-Kenan, Raanan De Wijze, Stephen. under review. “Unreliable Protection: Proportionality in Warfare put to the Test”.
Tasioulas, John. 2010. “The Legitimacy of International Law.” In The Philosophy of International Law, edited by Samantha Besson and John Tasioulas, 126–50. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Teitel, Ruti G. 2002. “Humanity’s Law: Rule of Law for the New Global Politics.” Cornell International Law Journal 35:355387.
UK Ministry of Defence. 2004. Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
UK, Reservations and Declaration Made on Ratification. 1998. Corrected Letter of 18 June.
Voelz, Glenn J. 2015. “The Individualization of American Warfare.” Parameters 45:99111.
Waldron, Jeremy J. 1995. “Moments of Carelessness and Massive Loss.” In Philosophical Foundations of Tort Law, edited by David G. Owen, 387–409. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Walzer, Michael. 1977. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Welsh, Jennifer. 2014. “The Individualization of War: Protection, Liability and Accountability.” Trudeau Lecture University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Werle, Gerhard Jessberger, Florian. 2005. “‘Unless Otherwise Provided’: Article 30 of the ICC Statute and the Mental Element of Crimes under International Criminal Law.” Journal of International Criminal Justice 3:3555.
Wolfrum, Rüdiger. 2008. “Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law.” In The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 2nd ed. edited by Dieter Fleck. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Wright, Jane. 2001. Tort Law and Human Rights. London, UK: Hart Publishing.
Caparo Industries pIc v. Dickman (1990) 2 AC 605.
Prosecutor v. Martic, Trial Chamber Review of the Indictment pursuant to Rule 61 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, March 8, 1996, IT-95-11-R61.
Prosecutor v. Kupreškic and Others, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, January 14, 2000, IT-95-16-T.
Prosecutor v. Blaškic, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, March 3, 2000, IT-95-14-T.
Prosecutor v. Galić, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, December 5, 2003, IT-98-29-T.
The Israel High Court of Justice, Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel, Judgment, May 30, 2004, HCJ 2056/04.
Prosecutor v. Blaškić, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, July 29, 2004, IT-95-14-A.
Prosecutor v. Strugar, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, January 31, 2005, IT-01-42-T.
Prosecutor v. Orić, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, June 30, 2006, IT-03-68-T.
Prosecutor v. Galić, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, November 30, 2006, IT-98-29-A.
Prosecutor v. Dragomir Miloševic, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, December 12, 2007, IT-98-29/1.
Prosecutor v. Boškoski and Tarčulovski, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, July 10, 2008, IT-04-82-T.
Prosecutor v. Strugar, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, July 17, 2008, IT-01-42-A.
Prosecutor v. Milutinovic and Others, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, February 26, 2009, IT-05-87-T.
Prosecutor v. Milošević, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, November 12, 2009, IT-98-29/1-A.
Prosecutor v. Boškoski and Tarčulovski, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, May 19, 2010, IT-04-82-A.
Prosecutor v. Popović et al., Judgment of the Trial Chamber, June 10, 2010, IT-05-88-T .
Prosecutor v. Đorđevic, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, February 23, 2011, IT-05-87/1-T.
Prosecutor v. Gotovina, Čermak and Markač, Judgment of the Trial Chamber, April 15, 2011, IT-06-90-T.
Prosecutor v. Gotovina, Čermak and Markač, Judgment of the Appeals Chamber, November 16, 2012, IT-06-90-A.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Do attackers have a legal duty of care? Limits to the ‘individualization of war’

  • Janina Dill (a1) (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.