London Transitional Justice Network and Security in Transition, LSE
Dying as a side-effect: The meaning of proportionate collateral damage
Date: Thursday, 19 May 2016
Venue: LG.04, 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields (32L), LSE
Speaker: Dr. Janina Dill, LSE
Discussant: Anthony Dworkin, ECFR
Chair: Marika Theros, LSE
International law permits killing civilians as an unintended side effect of attacks if the expected deaths are proportionate to the military advantage anticipated. But what does it look like when loss of human life and military advantage are ‘in balance’? Proportionality is a common concept in law, but the values at stake in war can be neither expressed in terms of each other nor easily translated into a common metric. This event will discuss the results of an empirical study of Afghan civilians’ and military experts’ attitudes towards collateral damage, and will explore whether international law makes sense to those it is intended to guide and those it aims to protect.
Janina Dill is Assistant Professor of Normative Theory at the Department of International Relations at LSE and Research Fellow of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, University of Oxford. Her book Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International Law and US Bombing was published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.
Anthony Dworkin is Senior Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he leads their work in the area of human rights, democracy, and justice.
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