chapter  5
20 Pages

e Rights of Self-Defence and Justied Warfare in the Writings of the Twelh- and irteenth-Century Canonists

This chapter draws on some of my work on the origin of individual rights in medieval law to examine the operation of the related, but distinct, rights of selfdefense and justified warfare. To speak of rights in the context of medieval law challenges some old and cherished suppositions. An earlier school of thought had maintained that if rights existed at all in medieval jurisprudence, they were a vague and subordinate concept. Thomas Aquinas, on this account, had created a system of thought based on an objectively just apportionment of goods which was shattered by the invention of subjective rights in the work of William of Ockham or Thomas Hobbes, depending on whom one reads.2