Targeted Killings Symposium: Introduction

Targeted Killings Symposium: Introduction

[Jens David Ohlin is an Associate Professor of Law at Cornell Law School; he blogs at LieberCode.]

In April 2011, a group of legal scholars gathered at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for a conference on targeted killings.  The idea was to bring together experts in diverse fields – international law, legal and moral philosophy, military law, and criminal law – into a single (or perhaps overlapping) conversation about the legality and morality of targeted killings.

The outgrowth of that conference, Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World (edited by Claire Finkelstein, myself and Andrew Altman), has just been published by Oxford University Press.

This Opinio Juris symposium is designed to continue the conversation first raised by the volume, but with Opinio Juris’ wider audience.

First, Craig Martin comments on my chapter, “Targeting Co-Belligerents,” followed by my response.  Our exchange concentrates on whether an armed conflict exists with al-Qaeda.

Next comes a comment by Richard Meyer on Col. Mark Maxwell’s chapter, “Rebutting the Civilian Presumption: Playing Whack-A-Mole Without a Mallet?”  In lieu of a response from Maxwell, who is currently unavailable, John Dehn provides a response to some of the issues raised by Meyer.

Finally, the symposium ends with a comment by Andrew Altman on Fernando Tesón’s chapter, “Targeted Killing in War and Peace: A Philosophical Analysis,” followed by a response from Tesón.

Thank you to the editors at Opinio Juris for this opportunity.  All Opinio Juris readers are welcome to use the comment section to respond to any of the arguments raised in the symposium.

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