Targeting State and Political Leadership in Armed Conflicts
Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
Vanderbilt University Law School
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Vanderbilt Law School. Request permission from publisher upon publication.
In targeting decisions related to the political leadership or infrastructure associated with the political leadership of the state it is first necessary to establish who or what is the intended target of an attack. Establishing whether the attack is directed at the people using the objects, or at the objects themselves is vital as the ensuing legal analysis of the status of the target will be different in the context of the people and the objects. This paper shows that, contrary to numerous assertions, one should not assume that individuals vested with the Commander-in-Chief functions can be uniformly regarded as lawful targets either based on their status or on their conduct constituting direct participation in hostilities. It is further argued that there is a relationship between a nature and the scope of the activities of state bodies, which may not only give raise to their direct participation in hostilities but also impact a legal assessment of the objects which such individuals use or intend to use in the furtherance of such functions.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
Awaiting citation and DOI