Edited by Federico Fabbrini and Vicki C. Jackson
Chapter 14: Missing in action: the human eye
In this chapter I argue that the growing involvement of lawyers in approving military operations, coupled with the disappearance of the soldier’s unmediated gaze of the battlefield, increase the probability for the execution of a certain kind of manifestly unlawful orders. In recent decades, western states have put their faith in jurists in their attempt to tackle the problem of human rights violations during warfare. Through setting up an international web of legal rules, now known as International Humanitarian Law (previously known as the law in war), and by enhancing the role of jurists as the most equipped experts to detect and prevent violations of this law, western states have tried to ensure a more humane battlefield. In this chapter I argue that this effort has inherent limitations. I show that the growing reliance on lawyers to approve the legality of military operations makes every order executed according to a lawyer’s “clearance” legal on its face. Militaries now prefer to expropriate the decision of legality from the combatants and view an order approved by lawyers to be legal. There are still grave concerns that even if militaries heed the legal advice given by military lawyers, violations of humanitarian law will still occur because military lawyers are more prone to divert from accepted standards of legality.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.