Monday, April 20, 2015


Johan Galtung’s view from Europe: Criminalizing War: Twenty Recommendations


Criminalizing War: Twenty Recommendations

by Johan Galtung, 20 Apr 2015 – TRANSCEND Media Service

[Note from the TMS Editor: Prof. Johan Galtung presented these recommendations in various places in Norway this past weekend.]

  1. Japanese Constitution Article 9 or something similar for all states: ‘__forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes’.
  2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 28 criminalizing war: ‘a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration can be fully realized’
  3. UD Article 3 “Everybody has the right to life, freedom and security of person” should also apply to cross-border aggression of any kind.
  4. Local authorities, regions, NGOs, IGOs and TNCs with the capability and intention to do so should also receive and implement human rights.
  5. Self-defense against aggression insulting human rights is a human right, subject to jus ad bellum-jus in bello-human rights, not war.
  6. Make possession of any WMD by any state or organization a crime.
  7. List publicly state terrorist state; by UN, NAM or a prestigious NGO.
  8. Remove the US exception to ICC but not retroactively; speed up Palestinian membership.
  9. Trial for war crimes must include compensation to victims and nature.
  10. Rewards for peace should be added to punishment for war, listing not only war criminals but also peace champions at all levels in the world.
  11. Publish names of killers in wars, for individual responsibility.
  12. Publish names of victims in wars, for collective solidarity.
  13. Make war propaganda a crime like racism, sexism, hate speech.
  14. Make alliance, NGO, IGO, TNC equality and representativity of genders, nations and states a condition for lawful global operation, like for consultative status with the UN and Agencies.
  15. Make a public YES to acceptance of membership another condition.
  16. Make violence for political ends other then self-defense a crime; this applies also to guerrillas and terrorism.
  17. Make omission of action that could make a difference preventing war, like withdrawing war support publicly or whistle blowing, a crime.
  18. Universalize jurisdiction by making crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity justiciable in all states.
  19. Avoid violent punishment for war: two violences do not add to peace; use instead 3C: public confession-contrition-compensation to victims and soft punishment of shame and guilt, possibly social ostracism.
  20. Criminalization is ambiguous and may also harden and prolong wars; should go together with the positive approaches to the right to peace, of removing war causes, and removing war as a socially evil institution.

What do you think?


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TR*ANSCEND University Press-TUP.

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