Ethics

The ethics of war/military ethics (including when recourse to war is justified, what constitutes just conduct in war, pacifism, conscientious objection, and ethical questions surrounding private military and security companies, nuclear weapons, new technologies of war and intelligence collection)

The context and conduct of armed conflict, peace-keeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief has created many new ethical dilemmas and moral issues. The Centre is concentrating its efforts on exploring:

  • the causes and consequences of the ‘moral injury’, which is distinct from post-traumatic stress disorder, sustained by deploying personnel whose ethical values and moral compass are often destabilized by their service overseas;
  • the ethical dimensions of modern warfare including the evolution of tactics, the introduction of new weapons systems and the trial of innovations to enhance human performance on the battlefield; 
  • the recognition of the human rights and the personal liberties of uniformed personnel including rights to conscientious objection and immunity from prosecution for acts conducted within the deployed environment; and
  • the ethical challenges arising from the militarization of space including the deployment of weapons sensors and systems beyond the earth’s atmosphere, the application of the laws of armed conflict to the cosmos and the creation of a regulatory framework to manage competing uses of space for military purposes.