Legal definition: what can we declare war against?

Sir Christopher Greenwood, the British judge on the International Court of Justice, has written: “In the language of international law there is no basis for speaking of a war on al-Qaeda or any other terrorist group, for such a group cannot be a belligerent, it is merely a band of criminals, and to treat it as anything else risks distorting the law while giving that group a status which to some implies a degree of legitimacy.”

From “The Killing Machines: How to Think About Drones,” by Mark Bowden, in the September 2013 Atlantic

This entry was posted in Law, suits and order and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.