Practice Relating to Rule 11. Indiscriminate Attacks
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on “anyone who, during an armed conflict, carries out or orders the carrying out of indiscriminate attacks”.
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
The principle of distinction is complex and encompasses a number of treaty and customary norms applicable in internal armed conflicts, in addition to, in many cases, enjoying ius cogens
status. These rules [include] … the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.
The Court further held:
The protection of civilians against indiscriminate attacks is a norm of customary international law applicable in all international or internal armed conflicts. Indiscriminate attacks are never justified, even when non-civilians or combatants are present among a civilian population.
(footnote in original omitted)