Skip to main content Accessibility help
The Military Commander's Necessity
  • Cited by 1
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

The idea of military necessity lies at the centre of the law of armed conflict and yet it is less than fully understood. This book analyses which legal limits govern the commander's assessment of military necessity, and argues that military necessity itself is not a limitation. Military necessity calls for a highly discretionary exercise: the assessment. Yet, there is little guidance as to how this discretionary process should be exercised, apart from the notions of 'a reasonable military commander'. A reasonable assessment of 'excessive' civilian losses are presumed to be almost intuitive. Objective standards for determining excessive civilian losses are difficult to identify, particularly when that 'excessiveness' will be understood in relative terms. The perpetual question arises: are civilian losses acceptable if the war can be won? The result is a heavy burden of assessment placed on the shoulders of the military commander.


‘Johansen’s contribution is an important one that adds to the repudiation of the discredited, but stubbornly irrepressible, concept of kriegsraison geht vor kriegsmanier-the assertion that 'necessity knows no law.'’

Beth Van Schaack Source: American Journal of International Law

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Page 1 of 2

Page 1 of 2


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.