34 votes

Would it be legal according to the laws of war if Ukrainian forces killed Putin in Moscow?

Yes Providing the attack was otherwise made in accordance with the rules of war, enemy civilian leaders who are directly responsible for the prosecution of the conflict (so, the Minister of Defence, ...
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25 votes

Do persons accused of being "enemy combatants" have the right to a speedy trial, or can the US government hold them for as long as the govt wishes?

Enemy combatants do not have a right to a speedy trial and do not have the same rights as criminal defendants, but Senator Graham is incorrect in asserting that they may be held without trial "...
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22 votes

What happens if Congress declares war, but POTUS refuses to fight it?

If President Trump refuses to execute the war, does that become an act of treason on his part? Probably not, but it depends on the definition of treason. Congress could decide that it is, impeach ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Does the Geneva Convention apply to the party denying that the war is going on?

International Humanitarian Law applies to all armed conflicts The Geneva Conventions are a part of the overarching body of this law. It applies to all armed conflicts, not just declared wars. An armed ...
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  • 152k
9 votes

At what point can a surrendered military force resume fighting?

Under the Geneva Convention a prisoner-of-war may lawfully resume fighting once they have successfully escaped. Under Article 91: The escape of a prisoner of war shall be deemed to have succeeded ...
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9 votes

Does civilians' defence of their cities absolve advancing soldiers of war crimes?

Civilians taking active part in hostilities are legitimate targets This is enshrined in Rule 6 of customary International Humanitarian Law. Rule 6. Civilians are protected against attack, unless and ...
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8 votes

Do the laws of war cover misinformation and psychological warfare?

You have four questions. This made me wonder, do the laws of war say anything about misinformation or psychological warfare? Yes, a little. Mostly in the form of specific prohibitions. Is it e.g. a ...
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  • 8,262
7 votes

Can President Trump shoot off the nukes whenever he wants to, even for no reason?

The Commander-in-chief powers are quite broad. The War Powers Resolution limits his ability to engage unilaterally in military action, by requiring him to report to Congress within 48 hours, and if ...
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  • 160k
7 votes
Accepted

Which country's laws take precedence in a war?

The original country laws by default, but that can change. Once a country(let's say Elbonia) takes unconstested control of a town/region(let's say Silvania), it becomes an occupying power and has the ...
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6 votes

On which jurdical/legal ground can the FBI declare a foreign military officer a " wanted" person?

If the FBI has reason to believe they have committed a crime under US law Being an official of a foreign (or domestic) government in a military or civilian capacity does not make a person immune from ...
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  • 152k
6 votes

Can military necessity override POW rights?

england-and-wales Can military necessity override POW rights? NO. The Geneva Conventions Act 1957 provides prisoners of war with certain fundamental guarantees for humane treatment at Article 4 of ...
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5 votes

Were the American strikes on Syria legal?

Was International Law Violated? When it used chemical weapons to kill large numbers of civilians in his own country, Assad's regime in Syria was violating its obligations under the Chemical Weapons ...
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  • 134k
5 votes
Accepted

Is the United States at War?

Is it possible for the US to be at war with a non-nation actor (ISIL, Al-Quaeda), in the same way that the US was at war with other recognized nations in WWII? Yes. Basically. As noted in the ...
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5 votes

Is the United States at War?

Under Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution, The Congress shall have power... To declare war but does not say what follows from "declaring war", nor does it say what form such a ...
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  • 160k
5 votes
Accepted

Declaration of war on a de-facto state?

The international laws of war are generally much easier to apply in the context of a group of people claiming to be a state, than in the context of a group of people who do not claim to be a state. ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Are 'war crimes' written down in laws?

"War crimes" are codified in international treaties (especially the Geneva Conventions), and in determinations by courts and in statutes made in domestic legal tribunals. This is one area of ...
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4 votes

Can a country start sending troops before declaring war?

Depends a lot on who is invading and who is being invaded. In the case of USA invading France, NATO and the European Union would have something to say about it, and the USA would be in big trouble for ...
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4 votes

Can a country defend against invasions?

You could almost define a country as, "an entity that can defend itself against invasions." Non-sovereign entities are indeed generally prohibited from deploying lethal autonomous defense systems ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Is there a particular circumstance where the U.S. president can be tried for declaring war against another country?

The President can’t declare war It’s not a power given to the President, the Constitution reserves it for Congress - Article One, Section Eight: Congress shall have power to ... declare War Congress ...
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4 votes

Do persons accused of being "enemy combatants" have the right to a speedy trial, or can the US government hold them for as long as the govt wishes?

(in the act linked in the question) Sec. 948b. Military commissions generally (d) Inapplicability of Certain Provisions.-- (d) (1) The following provisions of this title shall not apply to trial by ...
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4 votes

Why there are no sanctions against head of state if his/her country violates the International law by performing illegitimate acts of war?

Your question is based on an incorrect premise Heads of State can be and have been held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. For example: Germany Japan Yugoslavia Rwanda
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4 votes

What does the Rome Statute have to do with the ongoing war in Ukraine?

From Wikipedia: The court has jurisdiction over crimes only if they are committed in the territory of a state party or if they are committed by a national of a state party; an exception to this rule ...
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4 votes

Where is the line between defending a city and using human shields?

I think you'll find the definition of "human shields" used in practice in Western courts narrower than what Russia claims (it is), e.g. In the Review of the Indictments in the Karadžić and ...
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4 votes

Can Russian TV personalities who knowingly lie about Ukrainians to promote violence be held accountable for the war crimes?

Can popular media personalities who promote violence be held accountable if their propaganda was acted upon? Could they be held accountable if they promoted violence on the behest of their government? ...
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  • 134k
3 votes
Accepted

Is threatening to commit a war crime itself a war crime?

"Does threatening to attack cultural heritage constitute conspiracy to commit a war crime..." Almost certainly not. It's a threat to commit a war crime, but is probably not illegal in and of itself. ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Were the American strikes on Syria legal?

The concept of "legality" presupposed a governing body, for example the US government establishes what is legal in the US, and not that is legal in Canada or Iran. There are a number of multi-national ...
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  • 160k
3 votes
Accepted

Could the USA be banned from the United Nations?

Yes. This follows article 6 of the UN Charter: A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization ...
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3 votes

On which jurdical/legal ground can the FBI declare a foreign military officer a " wanted" person?

Outside of the Counterintelligence list, there are no North Korean, Chinese, or Russian military officers or government officials are on any of the FBI wanted list. The Counterintelligence list ...
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  • 160k
3 votes

Is the United States in a state of war with Iran?

No (assuming that nothing new as happened since I last saw the news earlier today, these matters can change in a matter of hours during the course of a day). There has been no declaration of war by ...
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