The protection of civilians and civilian objects from the effects of air and missile warfare : are there any differences between the immediate battlefield and the extended battlefield ? / by Charles H.B. Garraway
The Harvard Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare’ (HPCR Manual) was published in 2009 as the result of a five year process involving experts from all parts of the world. At the start of the process, a number of questions were posed which individual members were tasked to examine and on which to prepare papers. These papers were then discussed amongst the group and used in the production of the final product. One of the questions related to the changing nature of the battlespace, partly caused by the advent of air power. When weapons were limited in range, the effects of warfare could be contained. However, air power brought in a new capability, to reach far beyond the front line and extend the effect of hostilities to areas previously outside the reach of even long-range artillery. Civilians, once comparatively immune from combat, now found themselves in danger. No longer were rear areas, away from the combat zone itself, safe. Hostilities could now reach to all parts and affect the whole population. But did the law adequately reflect this change in the character of conflict? Were there differences between the law that applied to protect civilians in close proximity to the battlefield itself and those now affected well away from the traditional frontline? This paper looks at the position and reaches the conclusion that the law does not so distinguish in terms of substance though how the law is applied may differ depending upon the specific circumstances.
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