Practice Relating to Rule 19. Control during the Execution of Attacks
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
An attack shall be cancelled or suspended if it becomes apparent that the objective is not a military one or is subject to special protection or that the attack may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
The manual considers, however, that:
In practice, it is extremely difficult to stop an attack. The obligation does not extend below the levels of commanders who have the authority and practical possibility to do so; say a commander of a battalion group. The obligation is in any event subject to the knowledge principle … which means that its application will be rare.