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Leiden Journal of International Law. Volume 24, Issue 3 (2011), p. 627-650.


aggression; jus ad bellum; jus in bello; law; Nuremberg; war


The moral and legal debate over the separation of jus in bello from jus ad bellum generally assumes that the law of war supports this separation and the concomitant doctrine of ‘equality between belligerents’, also known as the ‘duality’ or the ‘symmetry’ principle. This article examines the Nuremberg-era precedents and legal scholarship, as well as more recent legal and scholarly material, and argues that the general assumption is wrong and that the arguments supporting the radical legal separation of the two jus's are unconvincing.

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