Every month, in a relaxed location in central London the London Legal Salon will meet to discuss the big questions facing the law today. Attendance is always free. This blog will publish articles by attendees and the organisers to supplement the debates at our monthly meetings.

Every meeting will be introduced by a short talk from a lawyer or commentator in the area under examination. The discussion will then be opened to those attending to make contributions or ask questions. The meetings will last around ninety minutes and operate under Chatham House rules.

The discussions and the articles on this website will look to scrutinise the black letter of the law and its implications in the Courts and wider society. They will also look to situate the law in its historical and political context. We hope that by developing an understanding of where the law has come from, and why the law has taken the form it has today, we may begin to form an idea of where we want it to go.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Can extra judicial killing ever be just?

The next meeting of the London Legal Salon will be on Monday the 12th of December 2011 at 1930. We have changed the venue this time around. We will now be hosted by the Hoop and Grapes on Farringdon Street (http://www.thehoopandgrapes.co.uk/Menu.htm). Attendance is free as always.

Moral philosopher Piers Benn will introduce a discussion on the moral and legal questions behind extra judicial killing. An introductory blurb is below. Readings can be obtained by emailing londonlegalsalon@gmail.com
Look forward to seeing you on the 12th,

The London Legal Salon


Following the capture of the Nazi leadership after the Second World War Harry Truman, the then president of the United States, insisted that they should stand trial. He said their summary execution ‘would not sit easily on the American conscience or be remembered by our children with pride…the only course is to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused after a hearing as dispassionate as the times will permit and upon a record that will leave our reasons and motives clear”.

In contrast, following the killing of Osama Bin Laden in May, Barak Obama proclaimed to the world that ‘justice had been done’. But had it? The White House justified the killing by pointing out that the United States were at war with Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden was a military target. Others argued variously that trying Bin Laden would be either impossible or undesirable. But opinion was divided. Many, including Human Rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, claimed that Bin Laden was entitled to due process and that a trial would have allowed for his ‘de-mystification’ in the dock.

Bin Laden is just one of many suspected members of Al-Qaeda to have been killed by the United States authorities through targeted assassinations without any judicial sanction. Similar tactics have also been employed by the Israeli government in targeting suspected terrorists in Palestine. These ‘extra judicial’ killings raise important questions about the role of International Law in regulating modern conflicts and international anti-terrorism. Is it possible to try suspected international terrorists and when, if ever, should we want to? Since 1949, the Geneva Convention has sought to set the minimum standards for a state’s behaviour in the course of war. But at a time where wars are fought not just between states, but between states and amorphous and elusive organisations like Al Qaeda, have the old rules of war become out-dated?


  1. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. I think you spend numerous effort and time updating your blog.
    Local Packers And Movers Bangalore

  2. Packers and Movers Gurgaon Provide Reliable, Safe and Certified Service Provider list, Get Free ***Best Price Quotaition and Compare Charges. ???Hassle free Household Shifting Services, High Quality packing Material, Office Relocation, Car Transportaion, ###Local and Domestic Shifting Service @ Packers And Movers Gurgaon

  3. The TOP 4 Movers and Packers Pune are expert in their work. They offer top-notch and door-to-door moving services for your home, office, domestic, national or vehicle transportation. We have experience to handle and execute all types of relocation services. @ Packers and Movers Pune

  4. Packers and Movers Hyderabad Give Certified and Verified Service Providers, Cheap and Best ###Office Relocation Charges, ***Home Shifting, ✔✔✔Goods Insurance worth Rs. 10,000, Assurance for Local and Domestic House Shifting. Safe and Reliable Household Shifting Services in Hyderabad with Reasonable Packers and Movers Price Quotation @ Packers And Movers Hyderabad

  5. Get Packers and Movers Jaipur List of Top Reliable, 100% Affordable, Verified and Secured Service Provider. Get Free ###Packers and Movers Jaipur Price Quotation instantly and Save Cost and Time. Packers and Movers Jaipur ✔✔✔Reviews and Compare Charges for household Shifting, Home/Office Relocation, ***Car Transportation, Pet Relocation, Bike SHifting @ Packers And Movers Jaipur

  6. Packers and Movers Bangalore - Reliable and Verified Household Shifting Service Providers Give Reasonable ###Packers and Movers Charges. Cheap and Best Office Relocation Compare Quotation for Assurance for Local and Domestic House Shifting and Get estimates today to save upto 20%, ***Read Customer Reviews - @ Packers And Movers Bangalore

  7. Now that is something unique and interesting to read about.
    Moving Company In Dubai

  8. I do consider all the ideas you have presented on your post. They're really convincing and will certainly work. @ Packers And Movers Jaipur

  9. Hire Best Packers And Movers Mumbai for hassle-free Household Shifting, ***Office Relocation, ###Car Transporation, Loading Unloading, packing Unpacking at affordable ✔✔✔Price Quotation. Top Rated, Safe and Secure Service Providers who can help you with 24x7 and make sure a Untroubled Relocation Services at Cheapest/Lowest Rate @ Packers and Movers Mumbai

  10. Get Packers and Movers Kolkata List of Top Reliable, 100% Affordable, Verified and Secured Service Provider. Get Free ###Packers and Movers Kolkata Price Quotation instantly and Save Cost and Time. ✔✔✔Packers and Movers Kolkata Reviews and Compare Charges for household Shifting, Home/Office Relocation, ***Car Transportation, Pet Relocation, Bike SHifting @ Packers and Movers Kolkata

  11. There are most recent hair evacuation frameworks entering the market that utilization radio recurrence to obliterate the individual hairs just as harm the follicle to forestall re-development.Laser Hair Removal in Manhattan

  12. Packers and Movers Ahmedabad - We Provide ***Best Service Providers, Safe, Reliable, Affordable, Trusted ###Movers and Packers in Ahmedabad List, Household Shifting, Office Relocation: Choose Top Verified Packers and Movers Ahmedabad Compare ✔✔✔Shifting Service Chrages, Price Quotation, Rate List Charts and Save Money and Time @ Packers and Movers Ahmedabad