The Place of Jus Post Bellum in Just War Considerations

Authored by: Emily Pollard

Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415539340
eBook ISBN: 9780203107164
Adobe ISBN: 9781136261008


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The just war tradition, throughout its history, has mainly concerned itself with the ethics of declaring war and of the methods used to wage war. There is now a general acceptance of the necessity for jus ad bellum and jus in bello criteria, which a war must fulfil to be justly declared and justly fought. Jus post bellum considerations, on the other hand, are a relatively new aspect of the just war tradition. Many previous just war theorists have touched on them (such as Hugo Grotius, 1 who discussed principles of just war termination in De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libris Tres) — but only recently have some begun to consider them distinct and important enough to form a category of criteria. The idea is that, as just war theory contains categories of moral conditions for declaring war and waging war, it should also include a category for ending war; containing rules that determine when and how a war may morally be finished, and what duties the victorious country has towards the defeated (and vice versa).

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