Named and Targeted

Targeted Killing: For and Against, Forthcoming

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-50

38 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018 Last revised: 16 Nov 2018

See all articles by Jeremy Waldron

Jeremy Waldron

New York University School of Law

Date Written: August 31, 2018


This paper is a long draft chapter from my part of a forthcoming book: "Targeted Killing: For and Against." It considers the practice of targeted killing, specifically the fact that the practice targets people for death by name. It responds to the suggestion that there is no special concern about named targeting (provided the target is a combatant), by considering rules about assassination, attainder and outlawry. It considers the relevance of various philosophical ideas about naming and reference to the way in which targeted killing is practiced and justified. And it replies to those who defend targeted killing on the basis that it actually incorporates a quasi-judicial element.

Keywords: adjudication, attainder, combatants, definite descriptions, due process, ius in bello, names, outlawry, proper names, reference, rough justice, targeted killing, war

Suggested Citation

Waldron, Jeremy, Named and Targeted (August 31, 2018). Targeted Killing: For and Against, Forthcoming; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 18-50. Available at SSRN:

Jeremy Waldron (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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