Law and Honour: Normative Pluralism in the Regulation of Military Conduct
Melbourne Law School; Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
May 9, 2012
Jan Klabbers & Touko Piiparinen (eds), Normative Pluralism and International Law: Exploring Global Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2013, Forthcoming)
U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 582
National legal systems as well as international law seek to place constraints on the conduct of military personnel. But service members are also commonly guided by a body of professional ethics - a set of non-legal rules that often revolve around the notion of honour. This paper considers a particular technique for reducing the potential normative dissonance between rules of law and rules of honour - the incorporation of codes of honour into law by reference. The paper argues that the rules of national military law that prescribe punishment for disgraceful conduct, as well as the rules of the law of armed conflict prohibiting treachery, are open-ended and their content depends on the conceptions of honourable military conduct prevailing at the time.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: treachery, prejudicial conduct, honour, normative pluralism
JEL Classification: K00, K30
Date posted: May 10, 2012 ; Last revised: October 23, 2012
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