Accountability for targeted killing operations : international humanitarian law, international human rights law and the relevance of the principle of proportionality
Accountability for violations of international humanitarian law : essays in honour of Tim McCormack
New York ; London : Routledge, 2016
Michelle Lesh takes up the issue of targeted killing operations. Her chapter notes that the primary purpose of investigating targeted killings is to create accountability for potential violations of the law. In assessing when accountability measures are necessary, the chapter examines the duty to investigate and the principle of proportionality. By pointing the primacy of the principle of accountability in IHL and International Human Rights Law, the chapter focuses on the interaction of these rules in the context of investigations into targeted operations. Lesh observes that the growing use of drone attacks and other forms of targeted killings, particularly in non-international armed conflicts, where the geographical boundaries of conflict are often challenged and where attacks are regularly operated remotely, renders the two legal frameworks potentially applicable when questions of accountability are at issue. She argues that there are strong policy and humanitarian reasons to impose constraints on targeted killings and that these require that every targeted killing should be investigated.
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