Last week, 50 years ago, Apollo 17’s lunar module left the moon. Since then, no one has set foot there. Let us pause for a moment to think about the signficance of that rather unique adventure called Apollo. The Apollo program defies belief. At a time when much of modern technology – not least computer… Read more »
Category: Law and Ethics
When Are Economic Sanctions Morally Justified?
In spite of widespread support for the sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, international economic sanctions remain a controversial instrument in world politics. In this blog post, we discuss how the ethical criteria of just cause, proportionality, last resort and reasonable chance of success can help us think about the justice of sanctions.
The US Declares Chip-War on China
The United States recently announced a new set of restrictions on the export of advanced semiconductors, chip-making equipment, and supercomputer components to China. The interim final rule further escalates the geopolitical dispute between the US and China and raises concerns about the increasing fragmentation of the digital domain.
Sexual Violence by Military Leaders: The Canadian Leadership Crisis
Content Warning: This blog contains content related to sexual violence and sexual assault. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is steeped in a culture of sexual misconduct. CAF leadership has allowed an environment of sexual misconduct to fester for decades, stretching from military colleges through every branch of the military. Thirteen top commanders have been accused… Read more »
Different Responses to Mobility at Europe’s Borders
In the weeks since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine significant proportions of Ukraine’s population has gone on the move, the majority of whom are internally displaced. By 29th March 2022, 4 million people had fled Ukraine across borders to neighbouring countries: Poland (2 million in 3 weeks), Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova (some reportedly to… Read more »
The Taliban, International Law and the Rest of the World
The population of Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Twenty-three million Afghans, more than half of the population, are starving. The UN warns of a risk that a million Afghan children will die. In this situation, there is no way of avoiding cooperation with those in control of the country, namely the Taliban, in order to… Read more »
What Motivates Soldiers to Fight, asks Jon Elster
Many commentators have claimed that Russia’s military leaders must have underestimated the Ukrainians’ resilience and battle morale. This is most likely correct, but would it even have been possible for the Russian commanders to have made a more accurate estimate? There is reason to doubt that they could have done so. The only way to… Read more »
Forced Displacement from Ukraine: Notes on Humanitarian Protection and Durable Solutions
The Russian invasion of Ukraine February 24 2022 marks the start of a new displacement crisis. In a statement on February 24, Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees, emphasized that ‘The humanitarian consequences on civilian populations will be devastating. There are no winners in war, but countless lives will be torn apart. We have… Read more »
Russia Has Violated the Fundamental Rules of International Law. What Are the Consequences?
Vladimir Putin’s speech on 24 February was not only a formal announcement of his invasion of Ukraine, but also a defence of this use of force under international law. The fact that Russia is relying on international law is no surprise – Russia has always done so. The question is whether its arguments have any… Read more »
How Did Europe Get into This Predicament? We Must Look in Our Own Backyard
It’s easy to condemn the opposing party in a polarized situation. But it’s more difficult to exercise self-criticism. It’s easy to condemn the opposing party in a polarized situation. Particularly when there are good reasons for such condemnation, as in the current situation. It’s easy to state that Russia’s lust for power and its violation… Read more »