The laws are not silent in war, but what should they say? What is the moral function of the law of armed conflict? Should the law protect civilians who do not fight but help those who do? Should the law protect soldiers who perform non-combat functions or who may be safely captured? How certain should a soldier be that an individual is a combatant rather than a civilian before using lethal force? What risks should soldiers take on themselves to avoid harming civilians? When do inaccurate weapons become unlawfully indiscriminate? When does 'collateral damage' to civilians become unlawfully disproportionate? Should civilians lose their legal rights by serving, voluntarily or involuntarily, as human shields? Finally, when should killing civilians constitute a war crime? These are the questions that Law and Morality at War answers, contributing to a cutting-edge international debate. Drawing on the concepts and methods of contemporary moral and legal philosophy, the book develops a normative framework within which the laws of war and international criminal law can be evaluated, criticized, and reformed. While several philosophical works critically examine the moral status of civilians and combatants, this book fills a gap, offering both an account of the laws of war and war crimes, and proposing how the law could be improved from a moral point of view.
International law has recently emerged as the subject-matter of an exciting new field of philosophical investigation. The Philosophy of International Law contains 29 cutting-edge essays by leading philosophers and international lawyers, all published here in English for the first time, that address the central philosophical questions about international law. The volume's overarching theme is the moral and political values that should guide the assessment and development of international law and institutions. Some of the essays tackle general topics such as the sources and legitimacy of international law, the nature of international legal adjudication, whether international law can or should aspire to be 'democratic', and the significance of state sovereignty. The other contributions address philosophical problems arising in specific domains of international law, such as human rights law, international economic law, international criminal law, international environmental law, and the laws of war. This volume is the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of the philosophy of international law in existence. It is also distinguished by its 'dialogical' methodology: there are two essays on each topic, with the second author engaging with the arguments of the first. It is an invaluable resource for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the nature and value of international law.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Legal philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks analyses the nature and purpose of the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges. Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the central questions of legal theory. In this revised edition Wacks makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism, changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and updates to historical and anthropological jurisprudence. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The controversy surrounding targeted killings represents a crisis of conscience for policymakers, lawyers, philosophers and leading military experts grappling with the moral and legal limits of the war on terror. The book examines the legal and philosophical issues raised by government efforts to target suspected terrorists without giving them the safeguards of a fair trial.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life, shaping the character of our community and underlying issues from racism and abortion to human rights and international war. The revised edition of this Very Short Introduction examines the central questions about law's relation to justice, morality, and democracy.
Can a soldier be held responsible for fighting in a war that is illegal or unjust? This is the question at the heart of a new debate that has the potential to profoundly change our understanding of the moral and legal status of warriors, wars, and indeed of moral agency itself. The debate pits a widely shared and legally entrenched principle of war - that combatants have equal rights and equal responsibilities irrespective of whether they are fighting in a war that just or unjust - against a set of striking new arguments. These arguments challenge the idea that there is a separation between the rules governing the justice of going to war (the jus ad bellum) and the rules governing what combatants can do in war (the jus in bello). If ad bellum and in bello rules are connected in the way these new arguments suggest, then many aspects of just war theory and laws of war would have to be rethought and perhaps reformed. This book contains eleven original and closely argued essays by leading figures in the ethics and laws of war and provides an authoritative treatment of this important new debate. The essays both challenge and defend many deeply held convictions: about the liability of soldiers for crimes of aggression, about the nature and justifiability of terrorism, about the relationship between law and morality, the relationship between soldiers and states, and the relationship between the ethics of war and the ethics of ordinary life. This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.
To generations of lawyers, H. L. A. Hart is known as the twentieth century's greatest legal philosopher. Whilst his scholarship revolutionized the study of law, as a social commentator he gave intellectual impetus to the liberalizing of society in the 1960s. But behind his public success, Hart struggled with demons. His Jewish background, ambivalent sexuality, and unconventional marriage all contributed to a profound insecurity; allegations of espionage, though immediately quashed, nearly destroyed him. Nicola Lacey's biography explores the forces that shaped an extraordinary life. Book jacket.
The Oxford Handbook of International Legal Theory provides an accessible and authoritative guide to the major thinkers, concepts, approaches, and debates that have shaped contemporary international legal theory. The Handbook features close to fifty original essays by leading international scholars from a wide range of traditions, nationalities, and perspectives, reflecting the richness and diversity of this dynamic field. The collection explores key questions and debates in international legal theory, offers new intellectual histories for the discipline, and provides fresh interpretations of significant historical figures, texts, and theoretical approaches. It provides a much-needed map of the field of international legal theory, and a guide to the main themes and debates that have driven theoretical work in international law. The Handbook will be an indispensable reference work for students, scholars, and practitioners seeking to gain an overview of current theoretical debates about the nature, function, foundations, and future role of international law.
The study of law and politics is one of the foundation stones of the discipline of political science, and it has been one of the most productive areas of cross-fertilization between the various subfields of political science and between political science and other cognate disciplines. This Handbook provides a comprehensive survey of the field of law and politics in all its diversity, ranging from such traditional subjects as theories of jurisprudence, constitutionalism, judicial politics and law-and-society to such re-emerging subjects as comparative judicial politics, international law, and democratization. The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics gathers together leading scholars in the field to assess key literatures shaping the discipline today and to help set the direction of research in the decade ahead.
The chief means to limit and calculate the costs of war are the philosophical and legal concepts of proportionality and necessity. Both categories are meant to restrain the most horrific potential of war. The volume explores the moral and legal issues in the modern law of war in three major categories. In so doing, the contributions will look for new and innovative approaches to understanding the process of weighing lives implicit in all theories of jus in bello: who counts in war, understanding proportionality, and weighing lives in asymmetric conflicts. These questions arise on multiple levels and require interdisciplinary consideration of both philosophical and legal themes.