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How We FightEthics in War$
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Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673438

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673438.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

Non-Combatant Liability in War*

Non-Combatant Liability in War*

(p.172) 10 Non-Combatant Liability in War*
How We Fight

Helen Frowe

Oxford University Press

The principle of non-combatant immunity (PNI) holds that it is impermissible to intentionally target non-combatants in war, even if they belong to the ‘unjust side’ of a war. This principle is traditionally defended by the claim that non-combatants are materially innocent: that, unlike combatants, non-combatants do not threaten. But this view is prima facie implausible. Non-combatants often contribute to their country’s war effort. More recent defences of the PNI therefore seek to show that a non-combatant is not liable to be killed even if she contributes to her country’s war effort. This chapter argues that these attempts to defend non-combatant immunity are unsuccessful and suggests that it is a mistake to seek protection for non-combatants by showing that they are not liable to defensive killing. Non-combatants who contribute to an unjust war usually are so liable, since they are morally responsible for unjust threats.

Keywords:   War, non-combatant immunity, moral responsibility, liability

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