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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
This book conducts an in-depth analysis into the lawfulness of State-sponsored
targeted killings under international human rights and humanitarian law. It
also addresses the relevance of the law of inter-state force to targeted
killings, and the interrelation of the various normative frameworks which may
simultaneously apply to operations involving the intentional use of lethal
Through a comprehensive analysis of treaties, custom, and general principles
of law in light of jurisprudence, doctrine, and travaux preparatoires the
author demonstrates that contemporary international law provides two distinct
normative paradigms which govern the use of lethal force in law enforcement and
in the conduct of hostilities. Based on the resulting normative paradigms, the
author shows in what circumstances targeted killings may be considered as
internationally lawful. The practical relevance of the various conditions and
modalities is illustrated by reference to concrete examples of targeted killing
from recent State practice.
In essence the book argues that any targeted killing not directed against a
legitimate military target remains subject to the law enforcement paradigm,
which imposes extensive restraints on the practice. Even under the paradigm of
hostilities, no person can be lawfully liquidated without further
considerations. As a form of individualized or surgical warfare, the method of
targeted killing requires a 'microscopic' interpretation of the law regulating
the conduct of hostilities which leads to nuanced results.
The author concludes by highlighting and comparing the main areas of concern
arising with regard to State-sponsored targeted killing under each normative
paradigm and by placing the results of the analysis in the wider context of the
rule of law.