ORIGINAL

War, crime and punishment

6 minutes

If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

Historically, soldiers have been subject to a different set of standards, laws and punishments than civilians, on the assumption that war is an exceptional circumstance. But should soldiers really be treated differently by the law? Because combatant and civilian criminals often face similar pressures and circumstances, the Oxford-based French political philosopher Cécile Fabre believes that there should be no ethical chasm between how society prosecutes ‘acts of unjust aggression’, whether in peacetime or in war. A thought-provoking perspective on justice, this instalment of Aeon’s In Sight series offers a striking argument for changing how the law sees war in the 21st century.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Assistant Editor: Alyssa Pagano

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