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The Ethics of Armed ConflictA Cosmopolitan Just War Theory$
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John W. Lango

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748645756

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748645756.001.0001

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All Things Considered

All Things Considered

(p.200) Chapter 9 All Things Considered
The Ethics of Armed Conflict

John W. Lango

Edinburgh University Press

To establish prospectively that a proposed military action would be just, we have the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that all of the core just war principles would be satisfied. In the first part of this chapter, our shared responsibility for global human security is elucidated. The idea of collective self-defence is examined. For the sake of concreteness, a contemporary case is detailed, the case of Sudan versus South Sudan. In the second and third parts, the question of how the core just war principles of just cause, last resort, proportionality, and noncombatant immunity are applied conjointly to particular cases is investigated. In applying them conjointly, two questions need to be distinguished. Would a proposed military action be just? Among alternative proposed military actions, each of which would be just, which one would be best? The former question is considered in the second part, and the latter in the third part. The second part includes discussions of the topics of moral dilemmas, burden of proof, and noncombatant immunity. Among topics discussed in the third part are the Rwandan genocide, the Security Council, and the goal of peace.

Keywords:   burden of proof, collective self-defence, just cause, last resort, moral dilemma, noncombatant immunity, proportionality, Rwanda, Security Council, South Sudan

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