Special Panel on Rules and Exceptions in War

 

31 August, 17-19

with responses by Toni Erskine and Seumas Miller
Chair: Jeroen van den Hoven
Location: The Hague Peace Palace

Attention: To participate in this session, you need to separately register before August, 20: register here.

 

Henry Shue: Rules and Exceptions in War: Determinacy vs. Discretion

The fundamental rules for the conduct of war in the laws of armed conflict are exceptionless: never target civilians, always select the military objective expected to cause the least danger to civilian lives, and so on. Philosophers tend to view this as crude and to believe the lawyers need help. Some terrorists claim exceptions for killing civilians in the name of necessity (and responsibility). Some counter-terrorists claim exceptions for killing civilians in the name of responsibility (and necessity). I will sketch a wide variety of reasons for believing that exceptionless laws are exactly appropriate for limiting killing.