Document Type



Ownership or Use? Civilian Property Interests in International Humanitarian Law (with Geoffrey Chepiga), 49 Harvard Journal of International Law 413 (2008)


This artide argues that if and when recovery is possible for civilian property illegally destroyed during
war-and there are reasons to believe that it is becoming an ever more realistic possibility-then damages
should reflect not just the replacement value or market value ofthe items destroyed, but rather the humanitarian
value, or what we refer to as the "civilian use" value. Food, medicine, and dothing should be
compensated at higher levels, and according to a different calculus, than jewelry, radios, or sports equipment
even though these items may cost the same to replace. For, particularly with respect to large infrastructure
like grain warehouses or hospitals, international humanitarian law privileges "users" over and
above "owners." This artide first explains the justifications for implementing a "civilian use" approach
to damages, and then sketches a rough mod£1 of how an international court or tribunal might implement
the approach.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons