Discriminate warfare : the military necessity-humanity dialectic of international humanitarian law
Michael N. Schmitt
Protecting civilians during violent conflict : theoretical and practical issues for the 21st century
Farnham ; Burlington : Ashgate, 2012
Schmitt is concerned with issues surrounding the protection of civilians when military operations are under way. He argues that no principle is more central to the content and understanding of international humanitarian law (IHL) than military necessity ; it has informed the law since its modern inception in the nineteeth century. Yet the principle has also been the subject of misinterpretation and abuse. Schmitt's contribution examines the relation of the principle of military necessity to the countervailing principle of humanity. Their coexistence serves to balance humanitarian law in a way that best protects individuals and property while allowing states sufficient leeway to conduct military operations effectively. He further examines how the principles are being applied by courts, non-governmental organizations and others involved in the legal assessment of armed conflict, and offers thoughts on wether the trend is positive or negative.