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'Almost divine power': the lawyers who sign off who lives and who dies in modern war zones

By Craig Jones, Lecturer in Political Geography, Newcastle University
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When we think of war, we might think of soldiers on the front line – or those pulling the trigger – as the ones responsible for the death or injuries of those they are targeting. But my research suggests that over the past few decades an unlikely profession has become deeply involved in the conduct of war: lawyers.

Legal advisers (also called military lawyers) are trained as soldiers and are also qualified lawyers. It’s a military lawyer’s job to interpret the myriad rules…


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