Home » Notes » A Chink in the Armor: How a Uniform Approach to Proportionality Analysis Can End the Use of Human Shields

A Chink in the Armor: How a Uniform Approach to Proportionality Analysis Can End the Use of Human Shields

PDF · Margaret T. Artz · Nov-28-2012 · 45 VAND. J. TRANSNAT’L L. 1447 (2012)

The appropriate response to human shields is a recurring issue in modern warfare. Technological asymmetry, disparate obligations, and doctrinal divergence between state and nonstate adversaries combine to make civilians account for 84 percent of combat deaths. Just as a slot machine entices a gambler though he rarely wins, the international community’s inconsistent response to human shields has placed shield users on an intermittent reinforcement schedule, thereby ensuring that this tactic remains part of insurgent strategy. Long-term protection of civilians requires eliminating this tactic.  Principles of behavior science indicate that an effective way to do so is to uniformly remove its desired consequence— combatants must never allow the presence of shields to impede access to the shielded military objective. This approach is supported by a broader, more forward-thinking conception of the principle of proportionality as reflected in current treaty and customary international law.




One Response to “A Chink in the Armor: How a Uniform Approach to Proportionality Analysis Can End the Use of Human Shields”

  1. whoah this blog is great i like studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You know, a lot of people are searching
    round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

    posted on March 4th, 2016 at 5:15 am

Leave a Reply

ExpressO Top 10 Law Review

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Journal thanks LexisNexis for its 2014-2015 sponsorship.

Please join us in congratulating the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 2014-2015 Annual Award Winners.

Read the Journal’s latest issue (Vol. 48 No. 1) here.

Video is now available from the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law‘s latest symposium, This is Not a Drill: Confronting Legal Issues in the Wake of International Disasters. Watch them here.

We are pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Board of Editors.

The Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law mourns the death of its founder, Professor Harold G. Maier.

Explore Other Vanderbilt Law Resources