The Just War tradition provides an ethical framework, refined over many centuries, to assess whether war or the use of armed force is justified. The framework can be contemplated in the abstract or applied to specific cases past, present or future. It offers a set of important principles (typically five to seven) that cumulatively suggest the degree of moral justification for the application of armed force. These principles have proven so useful and meaningful that they have been largely incorporated into international law (Falk 2004: 404) and heads of state refer to it (Obama 2009). Furthermore, the UN-endorsed ‘Responsibility to Protect’ criteria for humanitarian intervention were based on the Just War principles.
- Read the article from Journal of Military Ethics, Vol. 10, No. 3, September 2011 [pdf]
- Also for reference: Canada’s Honourable Role as a Peacekeeping Nation, [pdf]