Economic Sanctions in IHL: Suggested Principles

Amichai Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Armed conflicts are always harmful for civilians and hence all attempts should be made to avoid them. However, considering that armed conflicts do occur; economic sanctions provide States with a viable alternative. This Article illustrates the need for limitations on the use of economic sanctions. It describes the characteristics of economic sanctions and the existing International Humanitarian Law (IHL) limitations and also suggests that economic sanctions should be further regulated offering three main principles to guide these limitations: the principle of severity, according to which the most severe economic sanctions should be prohibited; the principle of effectiveness, according to which economic sanctions should be allowed only if the State imposing the sanctions can plausibly demonstrate that the sanctions are effective; and the principle of conditionality, according to which the imposing State should declare specific achievable goals for the sanctions, and lift the sanctions immediately when these goals are achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-149
Number of pages33
JournalIsrael Law Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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