Obeying orders : atrocity, military discipline & the law of war (Book, 2002) [WorldCat.org]
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Obeying orders : atrocity, military discipline & the law of war

Author: Mark Osiel
Publisher: New Brunswick, N.J. ; London : Transaction Publishers, ©1999
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
"A soldier obeys illegal orders, thinking them lawful. When should we excuse his misconduct, as based in reasonable error? How can courts convincingly convict his superior when, after Nuremberg, criminal orders are invariably given by winks and nods, through hints and insinuations? Mark J. Osiel answers these questions in light of new learning about the sources of atrocity and combat cohesion, as well as changes in  Read more...

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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mark Osiel
ISBN: 076580798X 9780765807984
OCLC Number: 48932832
Description: x, 398 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: pt. 1 Obedience to superior orders --
Virtues and vices of military obedience --
The uncertain scope of "manifest" illegality --
Problems with prevailing law --
Sparse and unsettled rules --
The weightlessness of moral gravity --
Irregularity amidst procedural formality --
Atrocities "vanish" by verbal artistry --
Views of atrocity in legal theory : Positivist, naturalist, and postmodernist --
Individual responsibility for systemic horrors? --
pt. 2 Averting atrocity --
Roots of atrocity and law's response --
Legal norms and social practices in military life --
Cold hearts and the heat of battle : atrocity from above or from below? --
Permutations on perversity : atrocity by connivance and brutalization --
Social bases of military obedience --
Why do men fight? --
Morale and morality : an uneasy relationship --
pt. 3 Freedom and constraint in military life and law --
Rules vs. standards in military law --
Martial courage as moral judgment --
Promoting practical judgment --
What soldiers know --
Misreading orders morally --
Disobedience as creative "compliance" --
Living with lawyers --
Applying applied ethics, or Where the rubber hits the road.
Responsibility: Mark J. Osiel.


Osiel argues that international and military law could more effectively prevent combat atrocities by studying how and why they occur. The author explores the moral and legal ambiguity of military  Read more...


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"[Osiel] argues with passion for the legal and practical possibility of doing better than the present legal standard in encouraging moral responsibility in officers and individual soldiers. In the Read more...

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