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Ius In Bello - “Legal controversies pertaining to the use of force of the UNSC mandate in Libya”

IndexIus In Bello

Besides the controversies regarding the Ius ad bellum, there are numerous controversies pertaining the acceptability of conduct, during the execution of the given mandate.
The execution of the mandate has multiple debatable topics, distinguishing the edge between civilians and combatants, those who ought to be defended or targeted, assisting advancing rebel armies with air support, choosing sides in a civil war and finally targeting the head of a hostile state.
Let us analyze the controversy.

Civilians or Combatants?

An important issue in our research plays the interpretation of civilians vs (legal) combatants in international law. The international law forbids targeting civilians in an armed conflict; even more this has been one of basic justifications for the exceptional use of force in the mandate. Yet in a civil war, the boundaries between civilians and combatants are not always clear, as civilians take up to arms and military often fights for civil causes.
In order to understand to which means the mandate stretches, we require having a clear distinction between civilians and combatants. This will allow us to answer a question: Has the mandate been executed in accordance with the legal framework, norms and customs of the International Law?

When does a civilian become an armed combatant, bound by the norms and privileges of international law? If an armed civilian is killed in battle, does this constitute an IHL violation? [72]
The law has not always been clear on the matter. As different states disagreed to precise definition in the past, due to their private political agendas, lately there have been some general agreements [73] on the criteria of “combatant”, taking direct part in the hostilities. [74]

What does this teach us about Libya? When researching the scope of the mandate, where the main purpose is the protection of civilians, we ought to keep the distinction in mind between civilians and combatants. This way we will have a clear understanding whether humanitarian violations were made against civilians, and which individuals should or should have not have been assisted.

A civilian in a non-international armed conflict is a person, neither a member of armed forces of any party or any organized armed groups with a “continuous combat function”.
A combatant, is the opposite, either a member of armed forces. Or a member of an organized armed group. An organized armed group is not part of any governmental forces and usually consists of armed (ex-civilians), the purpose is to take arms and directly participate in hostilities, having a “continuous combat function”.
Participation in hostilities as a “combatant”, requires certain distinction as a group, organization and communication, possible effective control of a territory and hierarchy of command.

Direct participation in hostilities is defined by 3 criteria [75]:

  1. the act must be likely to adversely affect the military operations or military capacity of a party to an armed conflict or, alternatively, to inflict death, injury, or destruction on persons or objects protected against direct attack (threshold of harm), and
  2. there must be a direct causal link between the act and the harm likely to result either from that act, or from a coordinated military operation of which that act constitutes an integral part (direct causation), and
  3. the act must be specifically designed to directly cause the required threshold of harm in support of a party to the conflict and to the detriment of another (belligerent nexus).

Lately we have witnessed the concept of “farmer by day, warrior by night”. There is no definite agreement about which category such person is part of. Many anty-terrorist laws might even create greater vagueness.
The common consensus so far is that the person becomes a combatant, during his hostile actions and resumes his position as a civilian, after having returned to his daily routine.

The argument that has been made is that combatant fractions often took stand in civilian populated areas, Benghazi being the largest. Therefore, the only way of protecting the civilians, was by targeting the governmental troops. [76] A claim had even been made that if Gaddafi would not be stopped, a population of 500000 people of Benghazi would’ve been murdered. I find such claim inconsistent, as previous practice had shown, that Gaddafi forces did not commit genocide in other cities they had liberated- Zawiya, Misurata, Adjabiya where the total population is larger then that of Benghazi.

The fractions of insurgent rebels in Libya fulfilled the status of “combatants” towards all named elements. [77] They were armed, organized, trained by British, French, US and Quatari Special Forces. They participated actively with the direct goal of overthrowing the Jamahiriya government. Even more, they were recognized by numerous countries as the fighting force of an alternative government- the National Transitional Council. For this reason, the combatants themselves can hardly be seen as civilians in accordance with IHL. Ergo, the combatant groups, having lost their civil status, do not fall under the protection of the mandate. They do however, receive belligerent status and all rights, consequent to IHL.
Even more so, the combatants themselves might have violated the laws of war by attacking civilians, disregarding immunity of protected persons, breaching dignity and committing ethnic cleansing. Supporting Rebels, notorious for murder, rape and ethnic cleansing [78] [79] may in some accounts call for moral and legal controversy. [80]

Choosing sides in a civil war. During the operation, continuous cases of close air support to the advancing rebel armies have occurred. In some cases, as the media reported [81] advance would not have been possible without air support. The coalition forces thus actively took part in supporting of one fraction in a civil war. One may question- how lawful is the support of advancing insurgents in such case? Once again we are to interpret 1973: assistance is only provided for the sole purpose of protection of civilians and civilian populated areas. If to consider par 4 as an explicit exemption to the overall arms embargo, we may follow the line of thought provided by the US/UK diplomats: To take all necessary measures to protect civil population. This would mean that close air support to the insurgency might be legitimate as an absolute necessity for the protection of civil lives. Consequently, any form of assistance might only be acceptable if it adheres to the purpose of the mandate. Any other goals, not implicated by the mandate ought not to be pursued. The principles of the IHL do not apply to the coalition forces in full, as the mandated is not part of the hostilities in a civil war. The coalition solemnly owns a supportive role with the objective of civil protection.
By all accounts, assisting the advance of the insurgent troops can hardly be considered “protection of civil population”. The purpose in casu is the destruction of the defending Libyan government forces. By no means can this be seen as protective toward civilians.
Some might argue that overthrowing the Jamahiriya government would constitute for definite protection of civilians, however in accordance with international practice, such argument is too far stretched. [82] First of all, it must prove that no alternative solution is possible;
Secondly civilians in the regions under the rule of Jamahiriya must be in grave, persistent danger. No such proof had been provided. Even more, civilians in the western part of Libya, supporting Gaddafi enjoyed safety and stability.
Assisting the rebels to overthrow a government could result in a violation of the mandate. Possible, argumentation might be used that only by overthrowing the Gaddafi government; the civil population would be safe. However in order for such argument to hold ground, no other alternatives must exist to achieve the peaceful purpose of the mandate. [83] This however is not the case, since a stalemate, division of the country, or creation of buffer zones are alternative solutions.
An alternative approach might be to research the argumentation of “upholding the no fly zone by all necessary means”. The no fly zone stretches towards specific actions which might threaten airspace, including the bombing of anty aircraft positions (Iraq) but not upholding a “no drive zone” (destroying vehicle columns) or any other possibility of ground to ground warfare.

Choosing sides in an ongoing civil war may seem as a politicized, controversial decision. Neither the mandate, nor the Rule of Law explicitly permitted support to an insurgent army. Nor have the rules on diplomatic recognition been clear and uniform [84]. This due to the fact that not enough research had been done, no ground finding missions by the UN were made in order to assess the scale of the situation. It was unknown, in what numbers the rebels were and what part of the total population they represented. The coalition somehow decided that aiding insurgency would prove more beneficiary in the long term, instead of aiding a legitimate government. To this day, it remains unclear how aiding different, divided fractions of the rebellion would prove more useful to the main goal- achieving civil safety. Furthermore, actively supporting rebellion in their advance would logically mean an increase and active participation in the violence, instead of attempting to dampen it. Directly choosing sides with one of the parties in a civil war may contradict the implicit purpose of the mandate [85] and create another controversial issue.
A fortiori, providing close air support to advancing insurgent army might go beyond the tasks set forth by the mandate.

Bombing Civil Targets

Controversy of targeting civil objectives. Although we live in a time of precision strikes, laser guided missiles and surgical operations, numerous important civil targets have been struck during the use of force against Libya. Even by ignoring the questions above, we may find new violations of international law. [86] It is understandable that a sniper may hide in a civil house, a military unit may find shelter in a civil area or an armed person may shield himself among a group of civilians: The question remains, to what extent, an air strike on a civil target is permitted?
This may even more be the case, when the distinction between civilians and armed troops is blurry due to the fact of civil war. As it is clear that an operation, with the purpose of saving civil lives, is morally compromised when it takes away lives. Such moral dilemma shows why at later stages, the Arab League, changed its attitude towards the no-fly zone in Libya. [87]
In accordance to international humanitarian law, during military operations, a certain level of civil casualties is acceptable, if principles of distinction and proportionality are taken into account. [88] The so called “collateral damage” may be justified if it would prevent a systematic attack on civilians or civilian populated areas, e.g. “Choosing the lesser of two evils”.
In the case of Libya, especially during air support to the advancing rebels, there were no purposeful attacks on the civilians by the governmental forces, defending pro-Gaddafi areas. Thus one can hardly claim that civilians in the area were under direct threat of genocide.
Based on his findings in the Iraq invasion, Louis Mareno-Ocampo set up the principles of collateral damage in humanitarian law [89]:

Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) (Article 8(2)(b)(i)) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality) (Article 8(2)(b)(iv). Article 8(2)(b)(iv) criminalizes:
Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;
Article 8(2)(b)(iv) draws on the principles in Article 51(5)(b) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, but restricts the criminal prohibition to cases that are "clearly" excessive. The application of Article 8(2)(b)(iv) requires, inter alia, an assessment of:
(a) the anticipated civilian damage or injury;
(b) the anticipated military advantage;
(c) and whether (a) was "clearly excessive" in relation to (b).

As we see, the principles of proportionality and necessity stand in a dialectic relationship towards the Use of Force in a conflict. Further analysis of possible excessive use of force might be required per case in order to decide if the execution exceeded the mandate.

Let us analyze some of the most prominent civil targets:

  1. Air strike on the water supply system. [90] [91] Water in the desert is more valuable then gold. Therefore it is questionable how attacking a crucial water installation, supplying millions of civilians with water, may justify any military advantage. In the best case such an attack would represent a Pyrrhic Victory.
  2. Bombing of universitites.
  3. Bombing of Hospital, food storages [92] and mosques. [93]
  4. Destruction of other civil targets [94]: Television stations, schools, legal institutions, civil residences.
  5. Use of controversial weaponry: Casset bombs [95] and phosphorous shells.
  6. Destruction of the city of Sirte. [96] [97]

In accordance with the IHL, the nature, purpose, use and location of the objective ought to be used for military means, during the strike.
Although many humanitarian violations cannot be proven simply due to the lack of UN reporters on the ground and denial by the coalition, some results are evident. Numerous cities like Sirte and Bani walid have been largely or completely destroyed by the advancing forces.
Justification of proportionality or distinction can hardly be seen in a city where every building had been targeted. As when it comes to “military advantage”, this neither can be explained as Sirte had fallen after the capital, Tripoli and the majority of Libya was declared “liberated”. Therefore one may consider the participation in the besieging and bombing of Sirte, as a possible violation of international (humanitarian) law. Not only the purpose of the mandate might have been violated, but human morale in general. [98] As the destruction of a whole city is hardly proportionate or distinctive [99].

What should be done in cases where the humanitarian purpose requires certain (partial) violations of the humanitarian laws? The simplest solution is to look at the purpose and the tool as a whole. Basically: Does the violation outweigh the benefits? In this case, and perhaps in the case of Libya as a whole, it is hard to say.

We may find some answers in the ICISS report on the responsibility to protect. [100] The principles in contradiction, allowing a humanitarian intervention, are clear:

  1. The operation must be aimed at a precisely defined political objective and a clear, unambiguous mandate with matching resources and rules of engagement.
  2. the aim of the human protection operation is to enforce compliance with human rights and the rule of law as quickly and as comprehensively as possible, but it is not the defeat of a state; this must properly be reflected in the application of force,
  3. the conduct of the operation must guarantee maximum protection of all elements of the civillian population.
  4. Strict adherence to international humanitarian law must be ensured.

In the case of the mandate 1973, neither the political objective was defined, nor the mandate was unambiguous. The formulation, as we may recall, was aimed at “peace and protection of civilians” how and by which necessary means? Which conduct would, or would not be allowed? Much remained ambiguously.
By all accounts, besieging cities for weeks, fighting soldiers loyal to a recognized government, might constitute a violation of the principle of military necessity. [101] Furthermore, when the coalition forces actively participated in removing a government, it is possible that they neglected to uphold the principle of protection to all civilians. Often supporting untrustworthy fractions or allowing hostile tribes to control unfriendly territories. [102]
As it seems, the violations pile up and we can say clearly that adherence to international humanitarian law has not been ensured.

In war, sometimes humanitarian law may be violated, human factor and mistakes may occur at any time. But in such situation, the violations occurred systematically and constantly. [103]
Prevention and reaction are mutually exclusive terms where bombing civil targets excludes the possibility of preventing civil losses. Even more, the coalition forces had multiple possibilities to prevent further escalation, when they noticed the gravity of the situation. Such omission may envisage another controversy.

Question of Intentionally Targeting the Head Of State (Muammar Gaddafi)

This brings us back to the question of how far the scope of the mandate stretches. Does the resolution permit targeting Colonel Gaddafi, his family or other members of the government? [104] Does it permit targeting governmental buildings like the ministry of economics? Such questions, although crucial, are not new. During the Iraq and Yugoslavia invasions, targeting of the state’s leaders or governmental buildings, occurred multiple times [105]. Yet if Yugoslavia turned into an anarchic all versus all blood fest, and Iraqi operation was specifically aimed against the (at the time accused of terrorism) leadership, Libyan mandate did not have specific provisions against the Libyan Government. [106] Even more, the coalition officials reaffirmed that colonel Gaddafi is not a legitimate target. Such an action “might potentionally violate the peremptory norms of international law.” [107]
Besides, Gaddafi is a head of state, protected by art 8 of the Rome statute against “assassination”. [108] Just as any other civilian.
However, as it seems, Gaddafi was considered a direct target several times during the invasion:

  1. On the first hours of “Odyssey dawn”, the military complex Bab Al-Aziza in the center of Tripoli, known as the whereabouts of Gaddafi, had been bombed several times. [109] This compound, being a strategic center, would be targeted many times more, during the war.
  2. On may 1st 2011, Gaddafi’s youngest son and 3 grandchildren were killed by an air strike on their private house. Gaddafi and his wife were in the house at the time, but survived the strike. [110]
  3. On 8th of June 2011, NATO forces bombed Gaddafi’s private retreat, his “tent” in a rural preserve outside Tripoli. [111]
  4. On 24th august 2011 a bounty of 1 million pounds had been placed on the head of Muammar Gaddafi “dead or alive” [112], with SAS operatives aiding in the “hunt for Gaddafi”.
  5. On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi convoy was targeted and bombed while retreating from Sirte [113], as the column was fleeing and as numerous intelligence sources suggest that NATO operatives knew of Gaddafi being transported by the column [114]. Furthermore, after being captured, the head of state faced brutal torture and execution, after having surrendered.

In our case we are analyzing the attempts of assassination during the mandate, excluding the previous 7 assassination attempts before the war.
After the beginning of the operation, NATO officials changed their view [115]. Gaddafi did become a legitimate target in accordance with the officials. [116]
As some prominent scholars of International law state [117], Gaddafi may be considered a legitimate target [118], due to the wide formulation of 1973. This is allowed if this is a “necessary measure” in order to protect civilians. As the mandate fails to clarify the extent to which force might be used to protect civilians, targeting government officials may be acceptable if the goal of civil protection is met. IHL does not de iure deny the targeting of heads of states or governmental buildings. [119]
In accordance to Malcolw Shaw, military structures with senior officials could be targeted; if these actively participate in the coordination of warfare against civilians. As a side note, a clear distinction ought to be made, blowing up a finance ministry in Tripoli, would not be considered legitimate.
As we recall the wide formulation of the mandate, “to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civil populated areas under threat of attack.”, some scholars might argue that targeting Gaddafi, who might be coordinating military forces, would be considered legit towards “protection” of civilians. If it can be proven that by attacking Gaddafi, an attack (or multiple attacks) on civil targets can be stopped, then these attacks could be considered legit. [120] On several occasions, Gaddafi made public appearance, requesting his nation to “fight the invaders to the death”. This could be considered as an instigation towards violence.
Thus, targeting Gaddafi in war may seem as an acceptable act. Yet, this IHL right applies only to the members of the conflict. It is hence questionable weather a peacekeeping mission, permitting protection of civilians, marks the participants as party in war. [121]
In order to achieve legitimization, one ought to find a connection between the act and the goal of the mandate- protection of civilians. Such connection is not evident immediately. Killing Gaddafi does not guarantee cease of violence, even more, as precedent cases have shown (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia etc..), the execution of a head of state usually leads to more violence and anarchy. Besides, killing Gaddafi, within the Libyan governmental system [122], might not cripple the Libyan military command.
Additionally, targeting a head of state in his children’s personal residence, may fail to constitute protection of civilians.
Therefore, going after a head of state may not seem to fall within the goal “all necessary means to protect civilians”. Targeting private residence does not really constitute any possible “destruction of a command and control facility” [123] unless direct command would have been operated from there.
An interesting act had been made by the British government on 27 februari 2011, “De-recognizing Gaddafi as a head of State”, an argument might be made that in such a situation Gaddafi would lose his diplomatic immunity. [124] The main problem with this attitude is that this is an internal, British Rule of Law, not reflecting the realistic acceptance of Gaddafi leadership by the International Rule.
What seems to be the most controversial is the fact that many internationally respected scholars, advocates of justice and impartiality, somehow decided, “Gaddafi has to die by all necessary means”. [125] Possibly blinded by personal will towards democracy, more then towards justice. Often ignoring crucial evidence, whilst cherry-picking [126] the desired one. [127] Placing an advertisement “wanted dead or alive” without a fair court, means condemning a man to death, without any process. [128]
Finally, after having surrendered, Gaddafi ought to have been given a POW status, with rights against torture and presentation to a fair trial. Instead, he received a controversial execution in the most brutally possible, humiliating way. [129] Such an approach may go against principles of democratic society and might constitute a war crime. [130]
Historically it has been widely acceptable not to assassinate heads of states directly. This way, hostile leaders would have the possibility to come together and discuss terms for conflict resolution or reduction of violence with least suffering for their subordinates. A leader’s immunity and respectability has always been a necessary measure, not only to reiterate a state’s sovereignty, but to allow for peaceful and structured negotiations in a chaotic world. If leaders were to allow each other to target, assassinate each other at any time, for the fact of being hostile, diplomacy would not be possible.
In such way it might not seem to be illegal for North Korea to execute the prime minister of Japan, for “assisting terrorist south”, or for the Serbian state to shoot down Obama’s airplane for “threatening the territorial integrity of Serbia in Kosovo”.

The lex scripta on the matter, is more accurate, in accordance with the:
1907 hague convention on the laws of war, it is forbidden outside of war: “To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army.”
- US Executive Order 12333 [131] “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination."
Art 8 of the Rome statute [132] and the fourth Geneva convention forbid: willful killing, torture, assassination, and inhumane treatment of individuals in a war, including heads of state.
An exception is to be made towards a head of state, who is engaged in a war of aggression. [133] That is a head who participates in an international war. It would be useless to shield such a head of state, if he willingly perpetuates aggression upon another state.

Thus we may conclude that the targeting heads of states implicitly, may spawn another controversy on the international arena.
As the mandate explicitly takes economic and travel measures against Gaddafi, but does not allow for personal assassination. Even more an extradition to the ICC, alive is requested. All this may prove that the mandate’s purpose might not have been consistent with the execution, in this matter.


[72] ICRC, Interpretive Guidance of the notion of direct participation in hostilities under IHL, 31 December 2008

[73] Ibid, page 50

[74] Emily Crawford, “The treatment of Combatants and insurgents under the law of armed conflict”, Oxford Scholarship online, May 2010

[75] Ibid 60, page 50

[76] Mehrdad Payandeh “The United Nations regime change and military intervention in Libya”, Virginia Journal of International Law, 52 (2) January 2012, p. 379

[77] M-J. Domestici-Met, “Protecting Libya on behalf of the International Community” Gottingen Law journal 3 (2) 2011 p. 24

[78] Veterans Today, Going Rogue: NATO’s War crimes in Libya, June 7, 2011

[79] The New American, NATO Rebels accused of war crimes in Libya, August 19, 2011

[80] ibid p.25

[81] NY Times, Africa, Air strikes clear way for Libyan rebels’ first major advance, March 26, 2011

[82] Dapo Akande, What does the UNSC resolution 1973 permit?
Dapo Akande, Does SC Resolution 1973 Permit Coalition Military Support for the Libyan Rebels?, Blog of the European Journal of International Law, March 31, 2011

[83] Christine Gray “International Law and the Use of force” Oxford University Press 2004, p. 135 “Necessity and Proportionality”

[84] Stefan Talmon, “Recognition of the Libyan National Transitional Council”, ASIL Insight, 15(2011)

[85] Hin Yan Liu, “Mercenaries in Libya: Ramifications of the Treatment of ‘Armed Mercenary Personnel’ under the Arms Embargo for Private Military Company Contractors”, Journal of Conflict Security Law, 16 (2) 2011, p. 293-319

[86] Serena Sharma, “Is operation Odyssey Dawn” a “just intervention?”, assessing the relationship between cause and conduct”, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, March 25, 2011

[87] The Guardian, Libya: Shifting Sands, 21 March 2011

[88] Yoram Dinstein, “The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict”, Cambridge University Press 2004 pp. 82-125

[89] Louis Moreno Ocampo, ICC Findings of Iraq-Related communications, Principles of Collateral Damage in international law, Februari 9, 2006

[90] Associated Press, Rebels say Gadhafi must face trial as Tripoli hit, July 23, 2011

[91] Newser.com, NATO bombs Libyan water pipe: Humanitarian disaster, July 23, 2011

[92] CNN, NATO Bombing Hospital and food storage buildings in Zliten, July 23, 2011

[93] Telesur: OTAN bombardeó mezquita y otros edificios en Zliten, August 5, 2011

[94] International Action Center, Videos of NATO bombing damage in Libya: NATO war crimes in Libya, http://www.iacenter.org/africa/libya-videos081611// August 16, 2011

[95] Cluster/cassette bomb used in Libya: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl7aYr6Mxmk

[96] BBC News, Africa, Libya “bitter ironies” of Sirte destruction, March 6, 2012

[97] wsws.org, Sirte destroyed by NTC-NATO offensive in Libya, October 18, 2011

[98] Daniele Archibugi and Mariano Croce “Legality and legitimacy of exporting democracy” Legality and Legitimacy in World Politics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011

[99] Yoram Dinstein, “The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict”, Cambridge University Press 2004

[100] ICISS Report, The responsibility to protect, December 2001, p. 66-67

[101] Tom Gjelten “Siege” in Anthony Dworkin, “Crimes of War: 2.0 What the public should know” WW. Norton & Co Inc. p 384-386.

[102] A lasting impression of double standard,
M-J. Domestici-Met, “Protecting Libya on behalf of the International Community” Gottingen Law journal 3 (2) 2011

[103] Jennifer Welsh: “Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy back into RToP” Journal Ethics and International Affairs, 2011

[104] The Guardian, Is Gaddafi a legitimate target?, April 27, 2011

[105] Alvin W. Keller Jr. “Targeting the Head of State During the Gulf War Conflict: A Legal Analysis”, Naval War College, May 18, 1992

[106] BBC News, Africa, Libya: Removing Gaddafi is not allowed, says David Cameron, March 21, 2011

[107] Philippe Sands, “Unilateralism” values and international law” European Journal of International Law, 11 (2), 2000, p. 291-302
The Guardian, Philippe Sands, UN’s resolution 1973 is better late then never, March 18, 2011

[108] Huffington Post, Gaddafi dead: Family may file war crimes complaint, 26 october, 2011

[109] BBC News, Africa, Gaddafi compound hit in NATO attack, 25 April, 2011

[110] Bloomberg Businessweek, Quaddafi’s son, three grandchildren killed in NATO strikes, May 1, 2011

[111] Los Angeles Times, Apparent NATO bombing of Kadafi rural retreat raises questions, June 8, 2011

[112] The Telegraph, Libya: £1 million bounty for Col Gaddafi - dead or alive, August 24, 2011

[113] The Telegraph, Gaddafi's final hours: Nato and the SAS helped rebels drive hunted leader into endgame in a desert drain, October 22, 2011

[114] The Telegraph, Col Gaddafi killed: convoy bombed by drone flown by pilot in Las Vegas, October 20, 2011

[115] The Cable, Foreign policy news. Top US Admiral admits, we are trying to kill Quaddafi, june 24, 2011

[116] CNN, NATO official: Gadhafi a legitimate target, June 9, 2011

[117] Philippe Sands, Malcolm Shaw, Ryszard Piotrowicz, as Quoted in “What does the UN SC Permit?” by Dapo Alkande, Eljitalk Legal Blog March 23, 2011

[118] Kenneth Anderson, “Can the coalition lawfully target Gaddafi?” Legal Blog Opinio Iuris, March 23, 2011

[119] Yoram Dinstein, “The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict”, Cambridge University Press 2004 p. 99

[120] MAJ Matthew J. Machon, “Targeted Killing as an Element of U.S. Foreign Policy in the War on Terror”, Report for the School of Advanced military Studies, May 25, 2006

[121] Ibid 117

[122] Reuters, Africa, Turkish PM urges Gaddafi to step down, end bloodshed, March 20, 2011

[123] Joshua E. Keating, “Is it legal to kill Quaddafi?” Foreign Policy blog, June 10, 2011

[124] Stefan Talmon, “De-recognition of col. Gaddafi” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 60 (3) July 2011, p. 759 - 767

[125] Mehrdad Payandeh “The United Nations regime change and military intervention in Libya”, Virginia Journal of International Law, 52 (2) January 2012, p. 368” p.36 Excluding Regime change?

[126] The Guardian, Amnesty finds widespread use of torture by Libyan militias, February 16, 2012

[127] The Independent, Africa, Amnesty questions claim that Gaddafi ordered rape as weapon of war, June 24, 2011

[128] Accordingly, human rights NGOs are already calling for an investigation into the circumstances of Gadhafi’s death. See, “Investigate Deaths of Gaddafi and Son”, Human Rights Watch, October 22, 2011

[129] It is, however, a different question whether the killing of Gadhafi on October 20 was in accordance with international law.
Mehrdad Payandeh “The United Nations regime change and military intervention in Libya”, Virginia Journal of International Law, 52 (2) January 2012, p. 368” p.37 Excluding Regime change?

[130] Roozbeh Rudy B. Baker, “Customary International Law in the 21st Century: Old Challenges and New Debates”, European Journal of International Law, 21 (1), 2010 p. 173-204

[131] US Executive Order 12333, United States intelligence activities, chapter 3, 1981

[132] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17 July 1998 part 2

[133] Alvin W. Keller, Targeting the Head of State During Gulf War Conflict, paper for Faculty of Naval War College, May 18, 1992


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