- is not directed at a specific military objective (or person);
- employs a method or means of warfare which cannot be directed at a specific military objective (or person); or
- employs a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by international humanitarian law.
Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited and include:
- an attack by bombardment, by any means or method which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects;
- an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the tangible and direct military advantage anticipated.
attacks not directed at a specific military objective
use of weapons which cannot be directed at a specific military objective
treating different military objectives as a single military objective
principle of proportionality (See also Proportionality)
BLIX Hans, “Area Bombardment: Rules and Reasons”, in BYIL, Vol. 49, 1978, pp. 31-69.
CASSESE Antonio, “The Prohibition of Indiscriminate Means of Warfare”, in AKKERMAN Robert J. (ed.), Declarations on Principles, A Quest for Universal Peace, Liber Amicorum Discipulorumque Prof. Dr Bert V.A. Röling, Leiden, 1977, pp. 171-194.
DOWNES Alexander B., Targeting Civilians in War, Ithaca, London, Cornell University Press, 2008, 315 pp.
MEYROWITZ Henri, “Le bombardement stratégique d’après le Protocol I aux Conventions de Genève”, in ZaöRV, Vol. 41, 1981, pp. 1-68.
AUBERT Maurice, “The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Problem of Excessively Injurious or Indiscriminate Weapons”, in IRRC, No. 279, November-December 1990, pp. 477-497.
BRETTON Philippe, “La Convention du 10 avril 1981 sur l’interdiction ou la limitation de certaines armes classiques qui peuvent être considérées comme produisant des effets traumatiques excessifs ou comme frappant sans discrimination”, in AFDI, 1981, pp. 127-146.
CARNAHAN Burrus, “‘Linebacker II’ and Protocol I: The Convergence of Law and Professionalism”, in American University Law Review, Vol. 31/4, 1982, pp. 861-870.
PARKS William H., “Conventional Aerial Bombing and the Law of War”, in United States Naval Institute Proceedings, Vol. 108, No. 951, 1982, pp. 98-117.
PARKS William H., “Linebacker and the Law of War”, in Air University Review, January-February 1983, pp. 2-30.