The laws of war
|Abstract||Doctrines of the just war predate formulations of the law of war by many centuries. Yet classical accounts of the just war are presented as matters of law – not positive law or law devised by human beings, but natural law, or law that is inherent in the nature of things. War, like other human activities that raise moral issues, was held by the classical just war theorists to be governed by immutable moral laws that were part of the natural order, no less real or objective than the laws of nature. This early presentation of morality as a matter of law prefigured, or perhaps inaugurated, the recurring tendency to blur the distinction between the morality of war and the law of war, a tendency that persists to this day.|
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