Lawfulness of "Targeted Killings" under International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
Not all cases of targeted killings occurring in armed conflicts, which could have been regarded to be legal under provisions of IHL, would stay examination under criteria of a new complex approach. Far from majority of these targeted killings would satisfy to the requirements of a prudent preparation and planning, absolute necessity, strict proportionality and an effective investigation. However, as a result, it cannot be argued that all cases of intended use of force against concrete persons suspected to be members of armed groups or civilians taking a direct part in hostilities during armed conflicts are illegal. There remains a small group of situations, in which the whole range of circumstances will justify these actions, but overwhelming majority of them will be situated in the real “combat” sector of military operations. Application of the “complex test” would definitely have a significant impact on the grey areas, rendering almost all of cases belonging to it out of law.