“Military objectives” are limited to those objects which:

  1. by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action, and
  2. whose partial or total destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.  





ICRC, The Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts (Part. A)

International Law Commission, Articles on State Responsibility

United States, War Crimes Act

Israel/Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (Part I, paras 101-111, Part II, paras 365-392)

Israel, The Targeted Killings Case (Paras. 40-42)

Israel, Human Rights Committee’s Report on Beit Hanoun (Para. 47)

Israel/Lebanon/Hezbollah, Conflict in 2006 (Part I, paras 116-117, 140-148)

Eritrea/Ethiopia, Awards on Military Objectives

Iran/Iraq, UN Security Council Assessing Violations of International Humanitarian Law (Part A.)

United States/United Kingdom, Report on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War

United States, Surrendering in the Persian Gulf War

United States/United Kingdom, Conduct of the 2003 War in Iraq

Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia (Paras. 19 and 27)

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Rajic (Part A., para. 54)

Croatia, Prosecutor v. Rajko Radulovic and Others

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, NATO Intervention (Part A., paras 10-18; Part B., paras 55 and 71-79)

Afghanistan, Drug Dealers as Legitimate Targets

United States, Military Commissions (Para. 5. D.)

Civil War in Nepal (Part II.)

Georgia/Russia, Human Rights Watch’s Report on the Conflict in South Ossetia (Paras 20-22, 39-40, 58-64)

Georgia/Russia, Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in South Ossetia (Paras 31-51)

Cambodia/Thailand, Border Conflict around the Temple of Preah Vihear

Mali, Destruction of World Cultural Heritage

Iran, Victim of Cyber warfare

South Sudan: Medical Care Under Fire

Syria, Press conference with French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Afghanistan, Attack on Kunduz Trauma Centre

Libya, NATO Intervention 2011

ICRC, International Humanitarian Law and the challenges of contemporary armed conflicts in 2015 (Paras. 158, 163, 215, 254-255, 262)

Israel/Palestine, Operation Protective Edge (Gaza, 13 June - 26 August 2014)

Syria, Report by UN Commission of Inquiry (March 2017)

Afghanistan, Bombing of a Civilian Truck

Syria, the Battle for Aleppo

Iraq/Syria/UK, Drone Operations against ISIS

Iraq, The Battle for Mosul

Eastern Ukraine, Attacks Against and Military Use of Schools

Eastern Ukraine, OHCHR Report on the Situation: November 2016 - February 2017

Mexico, The "War on Drugs"

Central African Republic, Coup d'Etat

Central African Republic, No Class: When Armed Groups Use Schools

Syria: Attacks on Oil Infrastructure

South Sudan, Activities of Oil Companies

ICTY, The Prosecutor v. Prlić et al. 

The Netherlands, Fighting in the Chora District (Afghanistan)


BOIVIN Alexandra, “The Legal Regime Applicable to Targeting Military Objectives in the Context of Contemporary Warfare”, in University Centre for International Humanitarian Law, Research Paper Series, No. 2, 2006, 100 pp.   DÖRMANN Knut, “The Definition of Military Objectives”, in BERUTO Gian Luca (ed.), The Conduct of Hostilities: Revisiting the Law of Armed Conflict: 100 Years After the 1907 Hague Conventions and 30 Years After the 1977 Additional Protocols: Current Problems of International Humanitarian Law, Sanremo, 6-8 September 2007: Proceedings, Milano, Nagard, 2008, pp. 85-93.   DOUGHERTY Bernard & QUENIVET Noëlle, “Has the Armed Conflict in Iraq Shown once more the Growing Dissension Regarding the Definition of a Legitimate Target?: What and Who can be Lawfully Targeted?”, in Humanitäres Völkerrecht, Vol. 4, 2003, pp. 188-196.   HENDERSON Ian, The Contemporary Law of Targeting: [Military Objectives, Proportionality and Precautions in Attack under Additional Protocol I], Leiden, Boston, M. Nijhoff, 2009, 266 pp.   HOLLAND Joseph, “Military Objective and Collateral Damage: their Relationship and Dynamics”, in YIHL, Vol. 7(2004), 2007, pp. 35-78.   MELZER Nils, Targeted Killing in International Law, Oxford, OUP, 2008, 468 pp.   ROBERTSON Horace B., “The Principle of the Military Objective in the Law of Armed Conflict”, in International Law Studies, US Naval War College, Vol. 72, 1998, pp. 197-223.   SASSÒLI Marco, “Targeting: The Scope and Utility of the Concept of Military Objectives for the Protection of Civilians in Contemporary Armed Conflicts”, in WIPPMAN David & EVANGELISTA Matthew (eds), New Wars, New Laws? Applying the Laws of War in 21st Century Conflicts, New York, Transnational Publishers, 2005, pp. 181-210.   SCHMITT Michael, “Targeting and Humanitarian Law: Current Issues”, in IYHR, Vol. 34, 2004, pp. 59-104.   SPEROTTO FEDERICO, “Targeted Killings in response to Security Threats: Warfare and Humanitarian Issues”, in Global Jurist, Vol. 8, Issue 3, 2008, pp. 1-32.   WARD Christopher, “Distinction: The Application of the Additional Protocols in the Theatre of War”, in Asia-Pacific Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, vol. 2, 2006, pp. 36-45