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Title: The ethics of war
Author: Lamb, Antony Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 2980
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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Pronouncing an action or course of actions to be prohibited, permitted or obligatory by Just War theory does not thereby establish the moral grounds of that prohibition, permission or obligation; nor does such a pronouncement have sufficient persuasive force to govern actions in the public arena. So what are the moral grounds of laws concerning war, and what ought the laws to be? I work within a Just War framework, adopting the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello. From there, I argue that rules governing conduct in war can be morally grounded in a form of rule-consequentialism of negative duties; rules aiming to achieve optimal results regarding the prevention of the violation of certain rights. Rules governing the war decision itself are grounded in self-defence and a duty to rescue; the locus of rightful authority to use force is dependent on institutional design. Looking towards the public rules, I argue for a new interpretation of some existing law, and in some cases new law. These include recognising rights of encompassing groups to necessary self-defence; recognising a duty to rescue; weapons and tactics that asymmetrically remove risk should be assessed on whether their use violates discrimination; considering all persons neither in uniform nor bearing arms as civilians and therefore fully immune from attack, thus ruling out 'targeted' or 'named' killings; considering all persons who bear arms to have combatant rights (POW status, for example). Throughout, I take it that morally speaking, action-governing public rules (international law, treaties etc) ought not merely to mirror the content of moral principles; we ought to take into account the consequences of the existence of the rules, and of institutional design
Supervisor: Bertram, Christopher Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available