Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 29
2007 発行

軍人による市民的不服従 : 選択的兵役拒否と脱走

Civil Disobedience by Soldiers : Selective Refusal and Desertion
Ichikawa, Hiromi
The aim of this article is to analyze military service refusal by a soldier and desertion by a soldier from the idea of civil disobedience.

In a democratic system, majority makes political decision but it does not mean that decisions are always right. Civil disobedience is a public act in violation of specific law and policy, which can never be accepted by one's conscience. It is an act to protest against existing "injustice" and a kind of political participation.

After World War II, it becomes obvious among international laws that the right to conscientious objection to military service should be guaranteed. However, it is controversial whether a deserter can also be regarded as conscientious objector and whether a selective refusal to a military order should be guaranteed for soldiers. Selective military service refusal is connected to the question of right and duty not to obey illegal or inhumane orders. According to international laws, each soldier must judge whether an order is legal or illegal by her/his self and decide to obey or disobey.

In Israel, Germany and the United Sates, we can see some soldiers refuse to obey orders, which they think illegal according to international laws. Soldiers, who ought to be obedient to any policies, are now practicing civil disobedience.
Copyright (c) 2007 Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University