Seminar at the Centre for Migration Law, Radboud University Nijmegen,
13 December 2005, 15.30, Thomas van Aquinostraat 8.01.07:
Thom Dieben and Diede-Jan Dieben,
Seminar : When does war become crime? Aspects of the Criminal Case against Eric O.
The face of warfare is changing. Mankind’s most infamous invention is transforming itself from the classical notion of nations fighting over political, cultural or economic domination, to international, sometimes non governmental forms of conflict, and the upholding of international peace and justice by supranational alliances.
How do these changes translate to the level of the individual soldier? By which laws are his actions governed? To what authorities must he answer? Does he follow orders passed down along classical chains of command, or is he obliged to act based on his own judgment?
The criminal case of Eric O. is the case of a Dutch soldier stationed in Iraq during the second Gulf War who is charged with unauthorized use of force, causing the death of an Iraqi citizen. This case demonstrates the difficulties governments, soldiers and judicial authorities face in answering these questions in this new era of war. As they attempt to do so, they must perhaps redraw the line between right and wrong, as the classical definitions no longer seem to apply.
Thom Dieben and Diede-Jan Dieben wrote an essay on the Eric O. case, which essay will soon be published by Wolf Legal Publishers, as part of the series: A Challenge for European Law: the merging of internal and external security.
This research is part of the CHALLENGE project (The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security) and financially supported by the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission’s DG for Research.
See the book