Practice Relating to Rule 15. The Principle of Precautions in Attack
Section C. Feasibility of precautions in attack
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) emphasizes that the obligation to verify targets, to choose means and methods of attack in order to avoid, and in any event to minimize, civilian losses and damage to civilian objects and the obligation to refrain from deciding to launch an attack which may be expected to cause disproportionate collateral damage is incumbent upon “those who plan or decide upon an attack”. The manual considers that:
This obligation presupposes that the measures are to be taken by a level which possesses a formalised planning process and a substantial degree of discretion concerning methods by which medium-term objectives are to be attained. It is unlikely that the proper level would normally be below a divisional or equivalent level of headquarters.
With respect to the notion of “feasible” precautions, the manual specifies that “feasible” means “that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances at the time, including those relevant to the success of the military operations”.