Jus post bellum

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Jus post bellum (Latin for "Justice after war") deals with the termination phase of war. The idea was written about by Brian Orend to reflect the need for rules to end wars completely and fairly. The jus post bellum has also become a subject of interest for international lawyers concerned with transitions from conflict to peace.


  • Provide assurances to combatants about the terms necessary to end a conflict
  • Provide terms for the end of war; once the rights of a political community have been vindicated, further continuation of war becomes an act of aggression
  • Provide guidelines for the construction of peace treaties
  • Prevent continuous fighting throughout peace negotiations by belligerents trying to gain more favorable terms.
  • Prevent draconian and vengeful peace terms; the rights a just state fights for in a war provide the constraints on what can be demanded from the defeated belligerent

Just Settlement of a Just War[edit]

The following is a list of items that would be permissible for a just settlement for a just war:

  • Unjust gains from aggression must be eliminated
  • Punishment against the aggressor in two forms:
    • Compensation to/for the victim for losses incurred
    • War crime trials for the aggressor
  • Security for the victim against future attack in the form of demilitarization or political rehabilitation
  • Terms for settlement should be measured and reasonable ruling out unconditional surrenders
  • Terms for settlement should be made public
  • Leaders, soldiers, and civilians must be distinguished
    • Leaders of the aggressor must face fair and public war crime trials, if necessary
    • Soldiers from all sides of the conflict must be held accountable for war crimes
    • Civilians must be reasonably immune from punitive measures ruling out sweeping socio-economic sanctions

See also[edit]


  • Allman, Mark J. and Winright, Tobias L. "Jus Post Bellum: Extending the Just War Theory" in Faith in Public Life, College Theology Society Annual Volume 53, 2007 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008), 241-264
  • Allman, Mark J. and Winright, Tobias L. After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010)
  • DiMeglio, Richard P. "The Evolution of the Just War Tradition: Defining Jus Post Bellum" Military Law Review (2006), Vol. 186, pp. 116-163.
  • Orend, Brian. "Justice after War" in Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 16.1 (Spring 2002)
  • Österdahl, Inger (2012). "Just War, Just Peace and the Jus post Bellum". Nordic Journal of International Law. 81 (3): 271–294. ISSN 0902-7351.