Practice Relating to Rule 23. Location of Military Objectives outside Densely Populated Areas
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
3. Fundamental guarantees and IHL principles
These guarantees have been embodied in principles that guide behaviour during situations of hostilities and must be observed throughout all military operations:
- Principle of precautions in attack
: … [T]he Constitutional Court has held that “among the main expressions of the principle of precaution are: … (vi) the obligation to avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.”
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The precautionary principle is the cornerstone of a number of specific rules which are considered to have attained customary status and to be applicable in internal armed conflicts … Among these rules is … the obligation to avoid, to the extent feasible, locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas.
[footnote in original omitted]
The Report on the Practice of Colombia states that if the location of police units may generate danger for the civilian population, their redeployment is considered advisable.