The Concept of Minimal Justice in Brian Orend’s Ethics of War
Brian Orend, one of the leading just war theorists, is best known today for elaborating jus post bellum principles while his works contain another distinctive component, concept of “minimally just” political community. This article explores Orend’s conception of “minimally just” political community, especially the meaning of this concept for Orend’s version of just war theory. Orend uses Kantian political and moral philosophy in order to prove there are two key functions of state: protection of human rights and establishing order. Since human rights are universal, a state should assist in protection of human rights of every person, not only its citizen’s rights. This leads to situation when states avoid of harming foreigners and aggressive wars become banned. Orend call a state “minimally just” if it follows these rules. However, these states could violate non-intervention principle and start wars. A crucial point here is an idea that a “minimally just” state has a right to fight for the overthrow of the aggressive regimes and establishment of “minimal justice”. The author concludes that this notion helps Orend extend the list of just causes of war, though his original intention was limitation of cases when arms could be used.