Rules that casualty recorders apply to assigning status

The rules applied by casualty recorders to decide on status include the use of ranges, taking the majority view, prioritising the view of certain sources, or having a discussion within the team or organisation.

  • The use of ranges. For incident-based casualty recording, where there were variations in reported numbers of civilians and numbers of combatants killed in an incident, some recorders use a range in their published figures to express the maximum and minimum reported killed of each status.
  • Taking the view expressed by the majority of sources. Where conflicting opinions on status are expressed by sources, some recorders use the opinion expressed by the greatest number of sources.
  • Prioritising the view of certain types of sources. Some recorders use a hierarchy of sources. Some assume local media sources are more reliable than international media sources, or vice versa. Others take court or inquest decisions as the most authoritative source.
  • Discussion within the recorder’s organisation. Many recorders have a practice of taking difficult cases to team discussion in order to get different perspectives and collectively decide how to record a casualty.