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    • Daniel MesselkenDaniel Messelken
      Keymaster
      Post count: 0
      #3809 |

      In our February 2015 edition of the “Topic of the Month”, Ted van Baarda gives you some reflections on the meaning of the term “Neutrality” for the laws of war and its connection to the moral justification of war. His contribution here is an abbreviated version of a speech that he held on November 14, 2014, at the conference “The illusion of the peace disturbed. The Peace Palace and the First World War” at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

      Read his full text here

      You can comment on his paper below. We are looking forward to an interesting discussion.

    • Patrice MompeyssinPatrice Mompeyssin
      Moderator
      Post count: 5
      #3954 |

      As a first reaction, three thoughts come to my mind regarding the interesting issue raised by Ted

      Neutrality was for me also a way to protect its country against a possible invasion or against the negative aspects of a conflit. Obviously it did not work, explaining why it lost its value. Today there remain a few officially neutral countries, and it would be interesting to study why they do so and what does that mean for them.

      When considered as a protection, neutrality seems to me belonging to the right of self defence written in the UN Charter, so perfectly acceptable

      Lastly, I am not an expert of the Just War tradition, but is there in this theory an obligation to fight for a just cause, when other conditions are met (including the probability of success, so difficult to appreciate)?

      It is indeed indicated in the UN Charter :

      “All Members, ………., shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
      All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter,”

      But in practice, the States remain free to decide how they will fulfil their obligations, and not obliged to intervene with military forces

      We are in the heart of the issue.

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