The prohibition of attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects is a logical implication of the principle of distinction and an essential part of International Humanitarian Law. There is a dearth of war crimes cases focusing on unlawful attacks, perhaps because such cases have been regarded as simply too difficult to prosecute. Recently, such cases have been prosecuted before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The article reviews these cases and the experience of the prosecutors to provide guidance for those involved in such prosecutions in future and for those involved in advising military forces or evaluating military operational conduct.
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