Law and War

From Martin Luther King to drone warfare

Craig Jones, School of Geography/Politics/Sociology

Chris Cole, Drone Wars UK.

Wednesday 1 March, 6-7.30pm.

Newcastle University, Daysh Building G.07 (Claremont Road, opposite Great North Museum).


Martin Luther King was awarded an honorary law doctorate by Newcastle University in 1967, and in his acceptance address spoke of how law can be used to reduce violence and cultivate pacific practices: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can restrain him from lynching me; and I think that is pretty important also,” he joked. Yet war lawyers working for the US, UK and Israeli governments are being used not to restrain violence, but to enable it, by approving controversial drone strikes that will also kill civilians. These lawyers sit alongside military commanders and sometimes have only 30 seconds to make life and death decisions. This event will ask how we can honour King's legacy by harnessing the power of the law to challenge new practices of warfare and produce cultures of peace.

CRAIG JONES is a lecturer at Newcastle University who has recently completed his PhD at University of British Columbia, on the role of war lawyers in drone warfare and lethal targeting operations.

CHRIS COLE is an author and activist, and former chair of Fellowship of Reconciliation, the internationalist Christian peace organisation of which King was a member.

Organised by the Northumbria and Newcastle Universities Martin Luther King Peace Committee, and Newcastle Stop the War.