Law and Philosophy 39 (4):427-461 (2020)

Cecile Fabre
Oxford University
Treason is one of the most serious legal offences that there are, in most if not all jurisdictions. Laws against treason are rooted in deep-seated moral revulsion about acts which, in the political realm, are paradigmatic examples of breaches of loyalty. Yet, it is not altogether clear what treason consists in: someone’s traitor is often another’s loyalist. In this paper, my aim is twofold: to offer a plausible conceptual account of treason, and to partly rehabilitate traitors. I focus on informational treason, as the act of passing secret intelligence to foreign actors without authorization. I argue that informational treason is sometimes justified, indeed morally mandatory; even when it is morally wrong, its beneficiaries are sometimes justified, indeed obliged, to make use of the intelligence thereby provided.
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DOI 10.1007/s10982-020-09392-5
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Government Whistleblowing.Candice Delmas - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (1):77-105.
On Following Orders in an Unjust War.David Estlund - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):213–234.
The Empowering Theory of Trust.Victoria McGeer & Philip Pettit - 2017 - In Paul Faulkner & Thomas W. Simpson (eds.), The Philosophy of Trust. Oxford University Press. pp. 14-34.
The Ethics of Whistleblowing: Creating a New Limit on Intelligence Activity.Ross W. Bellaby - 2018 - Journal of International Political Theory 14 (1):60-84.

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Mala Prohibita and Proportionality.Youngjae Lee - 2021 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 15 (3):425-446.

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