International Law Outline


Independent Int’l Commission on Kosovo, The Kosovo Report



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Independent Int’l Commission on Kosovo, The Kosovo Report – 2000 (568-69)

  1. Four weeks of bombing military targets, expanded target set to include media and transportation cites (bridges, highways, airports).

    1. Destroyed main telecommunications transmitters, 2/3 of main industrial plans.

    2. Led to Serbian civilian suffering.

  2. Mistakes led to civilian casualties

    1. Chinese embassy bombing, Korishe/Korisa civilians bombed.

  • Amnesty criticism

    1. High-altitude bombing – made it impossible to distinguish civilian/military

      1. Bankovic and Others v. Belgium – 2001 (453) – ECHR applies extraterritorially only in exceptional circumstances, doesn’t apply to claim that NATO members violated right to life in bombing FRY radio station during Kosovo conflict. (didn’t have control over area)

    2. Used cluster bombs and depleted uranium shells

  • ICTY considers charges

    1. Unusually, prosecutor hands it off to committee for consideration.

      1. Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign against the FRY – 2000 (570-72)

        1. “military objective” – notes that Protocol I is generally accepted as CUSTOMARY LAW

          1. Looks to WWII bombing campaigns which intended to affect morale of enemy civilian population

        2. “principle of proportionality” – determination must be that of a “reasonable military commander”

        3. Findings. NATO attempting to attack legitimate military objectives

        4. PA – generally troubling argument that IHL is judgment call except for EXTREMES

    2. Prosecutor follows advice, doesn’t bring charges

      1. Canadian prosecutor deciding not to scrutinize Western coalition bombings

      2. ICTY receives most support from US and other NATO countries…conflict of interest?

  • Session 24 & 25 – Evolution of Use of Force (Use of Force, Part One)

    1. When can force be used?

      1. Individual self-defense

        1. Has to be immediate

          1. Otherwise, you would have time to go to SC

        2. Subject to restraints – “necessary” and “proportionate”

        3. Must be in response to armed attack

        4. Article 51 – must report to SC immediately

      2. Collective self-defense

        1. Nominally includes individual self-defense, but may also include a third-party

      3. Security Council acting under Chapter VII

        1. How is this power held in check?

          1. Has to declare it’s doing it to maintain/restore int’l peace and security

            1. Who evaluates that claim?

      4. Customary Law exception – imminent risk to hostages

      5. Humanitarian intervention/”responsibility to protect”

        1. If there’s a major HR threat, possibility that int’l community could intervene w/o SC authorization in order to protect large numbers of civilians?

    2. Pre-1945


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