On Wednesday, 2 October 2019 ACIL / LACMO PhD Researcher Jeroen van den Boogaard will defend his PhD thesis entitled ‘Proportionality in International Humanitarian Law – Principle, Rule and Practice.’
In his PhD thesis Jeroen van den Boogaard examines the principle of proportionality as it applies in international humanitarian law (IHL). His study first examines international law to determine the category of legal norms in which the IHL principle of proportionality must be placed. Subsequently, the notion of proportionality is analysed in a number of branches of international law. The interrelationship of these notions is clarified in light of the theory concerning principles of international law. The study then turns to an in-depth analysis of the IHL proportionality rule and how this rule must be applied in practice and on different levels of decision-making.
In its practical application, the IHL proportionality rule is an inherently imprecise and flexible yardstick that nonetheless helps in protecting the civilian population.
The final conclusion of this study is that in IHL, proportionality is understood both as a general principle permeating the interpretation and application of all IHL rules, as well as an important rule of IHL. In its practical application, the IHL proportionality rule is an inherently imprecise and flexible yardstick that nonetheless helps in protecting the civilian population. This study suggests that the balance of the proportionality assessment should in close cases tilt more towards protecting the civilian population than the wording of the rule may suggest.
Jeroen C. van den Boogaard is assistant professor military law at the Netherlands Defence Academy and lecturer in international humanitarian law at the University of Amsterdam. Previous working experience includes: several positions as a military lawyer of the Royal Netherlands Army; head of the international humanitarian law department of the Netherlands Red Cross, and senior legal adviser at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.
The defence will take place on Tuesday, 2 October 2019 at 14.00 hrs at the Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229 – 231, 1012 EZ Amsterdam.