Proportionality, as a concept, does not contain any inherent standards, but rather refers to a proper balance between all relevant factors. It is nevertheless necessary to make analytical distinctions that help identify the premises of its application within different contexts. This is particularly true for an area like international humanitarian law in which a proper focusing of the principle of proportionality is crucial. This article suggests that the distinction between a “thin” and a “thick” approach is a helpful analytical tool (...) depending on the number and the character of factors to be taken into account in the application of the principle of proportionality. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Israel on the permissibility of “targeted killings” is used to exemplify the drawbacks and advantages of both approaches. (shrink)
According to the traditional view, preventive uses of force between states and preventive killings of individuals, to be legal, have one basic requirement in common, namely, the requirement of the immediacy of the threat posed. The U.S. National Security Strategy of September 2002, the so-called Bush doctrine, and the so-called Israeli policy of "targeted killing" challenge precisely this core requirement for the preventive use of force against states and against individuals. The author argues that abandonment of the traditional standard is (...) unwarranted, even when taking into account the new kinds of threats that have arisen in recent times. Such abandonment, he argues, would risk transforming indispensable foundations of the international law on the use of force and on human rights. (shrink)
This book explores the question of how international law is applied by domestic courts. Through case studies and analysis the contributors consider how traditions and diversity affect the interpretation of international law, from a mixture of doctrinal, practical, and theoretical approaches.
This article takes up the “Furet/nolte debate” over the meaning of fascism and communism for our time. It does so in order to sketch out the dilemmas that confound the construction of meaningful narratives of the twentieth century, where persistent obstacles attend the enclosure of twentieth‐century events within an integrated and coherent whole. For at least two reasons, I suggest, the correspondence of Ernst Nolte and the late François Furet is instructive in identifying the nature of these obstacles (...) more precisely. First, Furet himself is the author of what is currently construed as being one of the most ambitious attempts to narrate the twentieth century, by taking the “illusions” engendered by faith in the Marxist–Leninist project as its organising principle. Second, the positions adopted by Nolte have been contested in the public sphere as being acutely emblematic of problems latent in the attempt to enclose communism and fascism together in a narrative of mutual complicity. The correspondence between Furet and Nolte therefore provides a fruitful context in which to treat a set of related problems bearing upon the relation between historical truth and reconciliation, between history and memory, and between the contemporary world and the advent of totalitarianism. As I conclude, a key point which has to date been overlooked in discussions of this kind is the coincidence of attempts to establish a historiographic framework for the twentieth century with efforts to undertake a settling of accounts with socialism. (shrink)