Practice Relating to Rule 16. Target Verification
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states: “Commanders, planners and staff officers have … to do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are in fact legitimate targets and are not entitled to special protection under the LOAC.”
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
1. Under the LOAC commanders, planners and staff officers have the following obligations:
a. to do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are in fact legitimate targets and are not entitled to special protection under the LOAC.
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008), in a section entitled “Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of armed conflict”, states:
1 Distinction. As a general rule civilians and civilian objects shall not be the object of attack (acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or defence). Targets shall be limited strictly to military objectives.
2 All feasible precautions must be taken to verify that the target is a military objective, and not a civilian or a civilian object, and that it is not subject to any of the specialized regimes of protection which prohibit, or severely restrict, attacks on certain persons and objects. Such regimes exist for wounded, sick, prisoners of war, religious, cultural and historic objects, dams, dykes and nuclear generating stations.