Tomasz Żuradzki
Jagiellonian University
The purpose of this paper is the analysis of both legal and ethical ways of justifying targeted killings. I compare two legal models: the law enforcement model vs the rules of armed conflicts; and two ethical ones: retribution vs the right of self-defence. I argue that, if the targeted killing is to be either legally or ethically justified, it would be so due to fulfilling of some criteria common for all acceptable forms of killing, and not because terrorist activity is somehow distinguished and gives special privileges to a state that fights it. The practical implication of my analysis is that one of the most spectacular targeted killings, which was the targeting and killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011, was not justified, because it was only supposed to be a retribution for the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Keywords the ethics of war  targeted killings  terrorism
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Killing in War.Jeff McMahan - 2004 - Ethics 114 (4):693-733.
The Morality of Terrorism.C. A. J. Coady - 1985 - Philosophy 60 (231):47 - 69.
Predator and Prey: Seizing and Killing Suspected Terrorists Abroad.Steven R. Ratner - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (3):251–275.

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