Rethinking Just War, 29 January 2020

Prof Thom Brooks (University of Durham)

Just war theorising has undergone a renaissance inspired by the ground-breaking work of Jeff McMahan. Central to the new orthodoxy is the claim that self-defence is a right that when satisfied can justify a right to inflict harm on unlawful aggressors. This right of self-defence can be acted on by more potential parties than the targeted victim(s) alone. The new orthodoxy rests on a mistake about the justification of self-defence as not a right to inflict harm, but a defence against conviction for inflicting harm. This paper explores how self-defence is understood in criminal law and its divergence from just war theorists invoking self-defence. Instead of our understanding wars as just or unjust (as if "just" wars are activities entailing no wrongs), they should be considered as excused or unexcused wrongs.


Date and time 2.00—4.00pm, Friday, 29 January 2020
Location Jan Grodecki Room, first floor, Fielding Johnson Building
Open to staff and students
not required

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