Luban Punishment Theory

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Luban addresses two main questions: how we got from there to here, that is, from just war theories that embraced the punishment theory to its current erasure. The second being whether the punishment theory may nevertheless be right. For decades, just war theorists realized that wars could be waged to fulfill desire, punish or avenge wrongdoings. Currently, this punishment theory of just cause has evaporated from international law, which recognizes only collective and individual self-defense as legitimate cause for war. But revenge and retribution are as strong today as ever, and the punishment theory is still prevalent worldwide, even if leadership of nation-states discard it from their speeches and policies about the wars their nations wage.…show more content…
Augustine through its medieval and early modern defenses, to its rejection by theorists such as Kant and Vitel. There are also notable defenders of the theory, such as Cajetan, who saw punitive war through criminal justice by which states punish wrongdoing. They argued that natural reason cannot accept notorious unpunished wrongdoing. Those who rejected the theory, stated that it requires one state to judge the conduct of another. This opposition raises two distinct issues: violation of sovereign equality and biased judgment. Luban rejects the sovereignty opposition, but expands the biased judgment objection by examining the distinction between retribution and revenge. These arguments lead to five objections to the punishment theory: First, it places punishment in the hands of a biased judge, most often the aggrieved party, which secondly, makes it more likely to be vengeance than retributive justice. Third, vengeance does not follow the fundamental condition of just retribution; there is no proportionality between punishment and offense. To add, punishment through war is collective punishment that punishes the wrong people, and lastly, it employs the wrong methods. In conclusion, Cajetan's concerns about unpunished wrongdoing argue for international criminal law, not punitive

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