While the principle of distinction is relatively straightforward in international armed conflict - two categories of persons can be targeted : the fighting members of the enemy's armed forces and civilians who at the times are taking a direct part in hostilities - in non-international armed conflict, there is no reference to combatant status. Therefore, in NIAC, the only persons who can be targeted are civilians at the time they are taking a direct part in hostilities. But what is meant by "for such time as" and what activities are covered by "direct participation". This contribution offers a critical look at the ICRC's Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities.
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