Melbourne Law School - Theses

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    Targeting during armed conflict: a legal analysis
    Henderson, Ian Scott ( 2007-12)
    This thesis deals with the law applicable to targeting during an armed conflict — in particular, the law concerning military objectives and the rule of proportionality. The law concerning military objectives is further considered in the context of a UN sanctioned military operation.Using the law applicable to Australia as the frame of reference (particularly Additional Protocol I of 1977), the existing treaty law, relevant case law, and the extensive commentary available is analysed. Separate chapters deal with the law concerning human targets, non-human targets, and currently controversial targets (along with effects based operations). Further chapters deal with precautions in attack and proportionality.The law of targeting in the context of United Nations operations is addressed; and in particular, how a United Nations Security Council mandate might affect what objectives are lawful targets.Finally, I put forward a process by which responsibility for individual components of a targeting decision can be analysed. This will allow for the determination of legal responsibility for discrete steps in a targeting decision. This should prove particularly useful in two situations. First, it will enable military commanders to appreciate what needs to be considered in each targeting decision and thereby ensure that somebody is assigned responsibility for each discrete step. Second, in the event of an investigation into an alleged targeting mishap, it will be possible to identify who had, or at least should have had, responsibility for discrete aspects of the overall targeting decision.