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date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter defends three claims. First, it is morally impermissible for combatants fighting for a just cause to use civilians supporting an unjust war effort as involuntary human shields. Second, civilians who are forced to serve as involuntary shields by combatants fighting for an unjust cause retain their basic rights; they are not morally liable to intentional harm, and the proportionality of collaterally harming them is not affected by the wrongful conduct of the unjust combatants. Finally, civilians who voluntarily serve as human shields for unjust combatants compromise but do not lose their basic rights. Such voluntary shields are not morally liable to collateral harm, though less is required to justify collateral harm to them than to justify collateral harm to involuntary shields or to civilians who are merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Keywords: human shields, proportionality, civilian, liability, collateral harm

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