chapter  3
14 Pages

Selective Conscientious Objection: A Violation of the Social Contract

ByMelissa Bergeron

The right of conscientious objection is acknowledged by most of the nations still conscripting military personnel, but employ some registration mechanism intended to facilitate conscription should that become necessary, the United States of America's Selective Service System. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mentions conscientious objection/conscientious objectors', but seems to grant wide discretion to States to recognize. The International Human Right to Conscientious Objection to Military Service and Individual Duties to Disobey Manifestly Illegal Orders right is attributed to various sources: an extension of the right to life; a requirement for protection of the young; or freedom of thought and conscience. These need not be taken as mutually exclusive. The Just War Tradition assigns moral responsibility in war according to the role of the agent, rendering the sovereign responsible for waging war, and individual combatants responsible for how well that war is fought, morally speaking.