Tout sur l’usage disproportionné de la force

Alors que la guerre se poursuit au Liban, le terme usage disproportionné de la force est utilisé à tort et à travers, comme s’il reposait sur un principe de droit international parfaitement clair, permettant de déterminer quand l’usage de la force est disproportionné et pourquoi il est illégal. Mais l’existence de victimes civiles dans le cadre de combats militaires n’est pas un argument suffisant. Le fait que plus d’enfants meurent d’un côté que de l’autre ne suffit pas non plus à remplir les critères, quels qu’ils soient. Que signifie alors ce terme, et quelle est sa place dans le droit de la guerre ?

Commençons par le commencement. En droit national, la notion de légitime défense implique que l’usage de la force est à la fois nécessaire et proportionné aux intérêts protégés. Par exemple, un commerçant a-t-il le droit de tirer sur des pillards qui s’enfuient en emportant ses marchandises ? S’il n’y a pas d’autre moyen d’arrêter les voleurs, l’usage de la force est nécessaire.

Mais est-il proportionné ? Si le prix à payer pour les pillards est manifestement beaucoup plus important que la valeur des marchandises volées, le commerçant ne doit rien faire, du moins sur le moment. Il peut toujours avoir recours à la police, avec la possibilité que les marchandises soient récupérées. En d’autres termes, l’usage de la force est disproportionné à partir du moment où son prix est trop élevé.

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