Proportionality (in War)
Published Online: 1 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The International Encyclopedia of Ethics
How to Cite
Haque, A. A. 2013. Proportionality (in War). The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .
- Published Online: 1 FEB 2013
Proportionality imposes moral and legal constraints on at least two aspects of the use of force by parties to an armed conflict (see War). First, proportionality is part of jus ad bellum, the moral and legal norms which constrain the initial resort to armed force, as well as the continuation of armed conflict. Second, proportionality is part of jus in bello, the moral and legal norms which regulate the conduct of hostilities. In both contexts, proportionality judgments depend on an evaluation of the relevant harms and relevant benefits brought about by military force; a standard specifying whether and to what extent the benefits must outweigh the harms or vice versa; as well as external variables, such as intention, national identity, and responsibility, which may alter the moral significance of the harms and benefits or the applicable standard of comparison (Hurka 2005).
- war and conflict