When is it Right to Fight? International Law and Jus ad Bellum
James Turner Johnson has played a pivotal role in bringing just war thinking to the fore in international relations. This has brought with it increased interest in the relationship between the just war tradition and the laws of war. Whilst Johnson maintains that the legal rules relating to the conduct of war correspond with the requirements of jus in bello, he is more critical of the legal regime relating to recourse to force and has occasionally argued in favour of the superiority of just war thinking to international law in this area. This article discusses Johnson's thinking on the relationship between ethics and law on recourse to force. It begins by outlining Johnson's approach before suggesting that it is overly critical of the post-1945 order. The paper concludes by calling for reconciliation between law and ethics.
Journal of Military Ethics