This article offers a close reading of the ICTY’s adjudication of the destruction of the Old Bridge of Mostar in the case of Prlic et al. It begins by exploring the elements of the crime of wanton destruction not justified by military necessity, the findings on which formed the crux of the legal issues at trial and on appeal. Specifically, it explores the assessment by the Trial Chamber and Appeals Chamber of the related international humanitarian law concepts of military necessity and proportionality. It argues that the Prlic et al Appeal Judgement represents a problematic application of the law which applies to the targeting of so-called ‘dual-use objects’: objects which qualify as military objectives, but which also simultaneously serve civilian functions.
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