Human rights and the military: the 'chemical soldier'

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Bird, J & Bird, G 2005, 'Human rights and the military: the 'chemical soldier', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 81-85.

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Excerpt: New technologies offer the possibility to re-shape the human at the genetic, molecular and hormonal levels. Philosophers anticipating and reflecting on this science speak of the 'fluid subject' and of the death of man. The ethico-legal foundations of Western law, sited in the Judaeo-Christian knowledge of good and evil, are challenged by these technologies. This article explores an aspect of this science: the military use of mind-altering drugs, particularly amphetamines and the 'anti-remorse' pill, to create an enhanced soldier. The enhanced soldier may lack capacity for the moral reason required to establish the commission of war crimes. We argue that the human rights of the soldier are being infringed and international conventions and domestic laws must be strengthened to remedy this.

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