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Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict

Mercer University School of Law

Spring 2014

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course examines selected legal and moral doctrines related to international armed conflict, including both the right of states to resort to force (jus ad bellum) and the rules governing the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello). We will look at the relationship of legal rules and moral codes to the just war tradition, and how normative principles shape the conduct and critique of international armed conflict.

Topics may include, among others, the nature and scope of legitimate, proportional self-defense; the treatment of prisoners of war/detainees; war crimes; humanitarian intervention; the law governing resort to force against contemporary terrorist networks; the justification for non-combatant immunity and the converse combatant's privilege; proportionality in the conduct of war; drone warfare and other targeted killings; and other contemporary controversies that characterize armed conflict in the early twenty-first century.