Fostering greater awareness of civilian casualties caused by combat operations is generally a normative good. But this accounting must be accompanied by strong contextual checks and balances.
Geoffrey S. Corn is a Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law Houston in Houston, Texas, and Distinguished Fellow of the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. Prior to joining the South Texas College of Law Houston faculty in 2005, Professor Corn served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as an officer, and a final year as s civilian legal advisor, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Professor Corn’s teaching and scholarship focuses on the law of armed conflict, national security law, criminal law and procedure, and prosecutorial ethics. He has appeared an expert witness at the Military Commission in Guantanamo, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and in federal court. He is the lead author of The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Perspective, and The Laws of War and the War on Terror, and National Security Law and Policy: a Student Treatise.
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The group’s new report accuses both Hamas and the Israeli government of committing war crimes regarding an incident in May 2019. But its focus on attack effects as the principal indicator of illegality reinforces a troubling distortion of the law.
Self-defense may never be invoked to justify an act of retaliation or revenge in response to an unlawful threat that is no longer ongoing or imminent. So was the U.S. right to point to self-defense in justifying a strike against Iran following the shootdown of a U.S. drone?
The new U.N. report on the Gaza border protests applies the wrong legal standard.
Tactical context is important in assessing the report of the Military Advocate General of the Israel Defense Force on Operation Protective Edge.
Consistent with a recent ruling from the Israeli Supreme Court, it is vital that the IDF take, in good faith, appropriate investigatory steps in response to any use of force during the recent violence in Gaza that appears to have been improper.
Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Wounded and Sick, Proportionality, and Armaments
[Editor's note: This piece is the latest installment in a mutli-blog series building on the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, as explained in detail here.]
Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict
Wounded and Sick, Proportionality, and Armaments