Règle correspondante
Colombia
Practice Relating to Rule 14. Proportionality in Attack
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) prohibits the disproportionate use of force. The manual states: “In time of war, the principle of proportionality must be observed. This principle means that the degree of force, the weapons used and the actions taken must be proportionate to the seriousness of the situation.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 19; see also p. 20.
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 proportionality: A military action is proportionate when it does not cause civilian victims or damage to civilian objects that would be excessive in relation to the overall anticipated result in terms of military advantage. … In this sense, “launching an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of life and injury to the civilian population, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated, is prohibited”. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 36–38; see also p. 58.
[footnotes in original omitted]
The manual also states:
In an IHL framework, proportionality refers firstly to the effects that, in relation to the anticipated military advantage, the use of force between the parties may have on third parties (harm to persons not directly participating in hostilities). This does not mean that there are no limitations on the use of force between the parties (principle of humanity). 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 90–91.
The manual further states:
3. Minimum contents of operational orders
c. Execution
The description of the execution of the operation must include the Commander’s operational concept. Within these sections, the following contents, depending on the operation[,] … should be included:
(i) For operations in a hostilities scenario:
If the operation is carried out in a situation of hostilities, i.e. if the planning can be done within the IHL framework, the section on execution must also include:
- Principle of proportionality: Assess if the damage to the population or civilian objects is excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 100–102.
The manual further states:
If the operation is carried out to counteract a situation of hostilities, meaning that the planning can be done under the legal framework of IHL, the OLA [Operational Legal Adviser] must advise the Commander in describing the:
- Principle of proportionality: assess if the damage to the population or civilian objects is excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, p. 145.
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on “anyone who, during an armed conflict, carries out or orders the carrying out of … excessive attacks”. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 144; see also Article 154.
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states: “The principles of legality, distinction, necessity and proportionality must guide all military action.” 
Colombia, Directive No. 10, 2007, § IV.
In 2006, in the Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, the First Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[W]ith regard to the conduct of hostilities, it is important to note that IHL is ruled by fundamental principles, such as the principles of distinction, limitation and proportionality. Indeed, … the principle of proportionality which, based on the fact that an armed conflict necessarily produces unwanted effects on the civilian population and civilian objects, prohibits military actions that predictably and intentionally result in deaths or wounded among the civilian population or harm to civilian property which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage sought. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, Judgment of 7 March 2006, pp. 7–8
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[The principle of proportionality] requires parties to an armed conflict to abstain from carrying out a military operation whenever it is possible to foresee that the damage expected to be caused to the civilian population or civilian property would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 97.
[footnote in original omitted]
In 2010, in the El Iguano case, the Justice and Peace Chamber of Colombia’s High District Court of Bogotá convicted a member of the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) of several crimes committed against the civilian population. The Court stated:
The rules prohibiting the destruction and appropriation of protected objects derive from the principles of proportionality and distinction enshrined in IHL and according to which the opposing parties cannot choose whatever means of warfare they might wish nor carry out or order indiscriminate attacks. 
Colombia, High District Court of Bogotá, El Iguano case, Judgment, 2 December 2010, § 234.
Colombia’s Operational Law Manual (2009) states:
ii. What does military advantage mean?
Once it is clear that [the objective] is a military objective, it is essential to analyse the military advantage, i.e the effective contribution to a military action that may be achieved by neutralizing a specific military objective owing to its nature, location, purpose or use. Thus, the importance of the military objective (objects and persons) must be assessed, with a view to selecting those whose neutralization will contribute most significantly to the dismantling of the enemy’s structure or concretely to the success of the operation.
In this sense, every operational order or tactical mission must describe, based on intelligence information:
- Why the destruction or neutralization of the objective provides an anticipated concrete and direct military advantage over the enemy; and
- What the intended effect on the enemy is.
If, after assessing the military objectives (objects and persons), it is concluded that their neutralization produces no military advantage, or that the military advantage is very small, their selection must be reassessed. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 57–58.
The manual also states:
3. Minimum contents of operational orders
c. Execution
The description of the execution of the operation must include the Commander’s operational concept. Within these sections, the following contents, depending on the operation[,] … should be included:
(i) For operations in a hostilities scenario:
If the operation is carried out in a situation of hostilities, i.e. if the planning can be done within the IHL framework, the section on execution must also include:
- Military advantage: Describe, based on intelligence information, why the operation to be deployed would make an effective contribution to the anticipated concrete and direct military action against the enemy, indicating the intended effect on the enemy. 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional - Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, pp. 100–102.
The manual further states:
If the operation is carried out to counter a situation of hostilities, meaning that the planning can be done within the IH framework, the OLA [Operational Legal Adviser] must advise the Commander in describing the:
- Military advantage: Describe, based on intelligence information, why the destruction or neutralization of the objective would make an effective contribution to the anticipated concrete and direct military action against the enemy, indicating the intended effect on the enemy[.] 
Colombia, Manual de Derecho Operacional - Manual FF.MM. 3-41 Público, Primera Edición 2009, Comando General de las Fuerzas Militares, aprobado por el Comandante General de las Fuerzas Armadas por Disposición Número 056, 7 December 2009, p. 145.