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Civilian casualties and nuclear weapons: the application of the rule of distinction

Breau, S. (2014) Civilian casualties and nuclear weapons: the application of the rule of distinction. In: Black-Branch, Jonathan L. and Fleck, Dieter (eds.) Nuclear Non-Proliferation in International Law. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague, Netherlands, pp. 105-131. ISBN 9789462650190

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-94-6265-020-6


This chapter considers the possible use in armed conflict of low-yield (also known as tactical) nuclear weapons. The Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion maintained that it is a cardinal principle that a State must never make civilians an object of attack and must consequently never use weapons that are incapable of distinguishing between civilian and military targets. As international humanitarian law applies equally to any use of nuclear weapons, it is argued that there is no use of nuclear weapons that could spare civilian casualties particularly if you view the long-term health and environmental effects of the use of such weaponry.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:38552
Publisher:T.M.C. Asser Press

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