Law and MoralAmbiguity: What is Murder?
Why do we have laws?
Why do we have trials?
• Truth/fact finding
• To determine innocent or guilt
• To ‘restore’– honour, dignity, money
• To punish
Shafia trial (in other lecture note)
It’s not a traditional war:
It’s not a traditional crime:
Domestic Law Constraints: We could only try in Canada, someone that is a Canadian citizen or people that committed crimes
International Human Rights Norms:
You cannot just kill people or drop bombs, etc.
Every state in international law is independent and no legal system is inferior or superior to
another. No state can interfere with another states legal system.
Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
• Principle of stste sovereignty – political self determination
• Principal of legal equality between states
• Principle of non-intervention – unless mass number of people are dying (genocide) you
cannot interfere with another states legal system.
Authorization for Use of Military Force – Sept. 11/2001
What is Murder?
Traditionally, if you kill another individual. Only way to legally get away with murder:
prevention of further crime or self-defense
Every state has its own border.
Two paradigms: criminal law (law enforcement) and war (U.S Israel, Switzerland)
(EXAM) – discuss both of them, one of them defending killing Osama by using the criminal
law paradigm, but they claim they used the war paradigm and the killing was justified Osama bin Laden – murder but in the war paradigm, they had the right to bomb them.
Treaty of Westphalia (1648)
Principle of State Sovereignty – political self determination
Principle of Legal Equality between States
Principle of Non – Intervention
(Only a state can commit a targeted killing EXAM) Targeted Killing:
• Directed against an individual
• Difficult to determine the level of threat
• Self-defense? Do states have the right to defend themselves?
• Where to draw the lines: no uniforms,’no base, different from traditional theatre of war.
(harder to tell who is at war and who is a regular citizen)
o Civilian/combatant vs.
o Civilian/lawful: combatant/unlawful combatant
In traditional war, those wearing the uniforms would be targets, those killed without uniforms
would be a crime if they were targeted. Unlawful combatants – the right to kill them. They are
the people that aid the terrorists/combatants.
Criminal Law Paradigm:
• Individuals are punished for their guilt (Canada would only care if they are
• Guilt must be proven in a court of law
• Due guarantees
• Killing is only permitted if used for self-defense and/or immediate necessity of saving
more lives As long as there is the chance to capture the criminal/target, than they should be captured to
minimize the killing and to not commit a crime of murder.
War Paradigm: (completely different)
• Deadly force against combatants is legitimate – irrespective of immediate threat level
• Legitimate targets: combatants belong to an identifiable group – uniform, military bases
• Guilt is irrelevant
• No attempt to capture is needed
*Killing soldiers not wearing uniforms, that are not easily identifiable, is a crime.
It would’ve been illegal to kill Osama bin Laden in his house if it was a traditional war.
Terrorism is a differen