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Since the publication of the second edition of International Law and the Use of Force the law in this area has continued to undergo a fundamental ...
Since the publication of the second edition of International Law and the Use of Force the law in this area has continued to undergo a fundamental reappraisal. Operation Enduring Freedom carries on against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan six years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Can this still be justified as self-defense in the 'war on terror'? Is there now a wide right of pre-emptive self-defense against armed attacks by non-state actors? The 2006 Israel/Lebanon conflict and the recent intervention of Ethiopia in Somalia raise questions about whether the 'war on terror' has brought major changes in the law on self-defense and on regime change. The 2003 invasion of Iraq gave rise to serious divisions between states as to the legality of this use of force and to talk of a crisis of collective security for the UN. In response the UN initiated major reports on the future of the Charter system; these rejected amendment of the Charter provisions on the use of force. They also rejected any right of pre-emptive self-defense. They advocated a 'responsibility to protect' in cases of genocide or massive violations of human rights; the events in Darfur show the practical difficulties with the implementation of such a duty.
1: Law and Force
2: The Prohibition of the Use of Force
3: Invitation and Intervention: Civil Wars and the Use of Force
5: Collective Self-defence
6: The Use of Force against Terrorism: a New War for a New Century
7: The UN and the Use of Force
8: Security Council Authorization for Member States to Use Force
9: Regional peacekeeping and Enforcement Action
1. Law and Force
2. The Prohibition of the Use of Force
3. Invitation and Intervention: Civil Wars and the Use of Force
5. Collective Self-defence
6. The Use of Force against Terrorism: a New War for a New Century
7. The UN and the Use of Force
8. Security Council Authorization for Member States to Use Force
9. Regional peacekeeping and Enforcement Action
Posted November 8, 2004
Christine Gray, a Reader in International Law at Cambridge University, has written an excellent account of current international law on the use of force by states. She examines the laws banning the use of force, civil wars, self-defence, collective self-defence, the use of force against terrorism, the UN and the use of force, Security Council authorisation for the use of force, and regional peacekeeping and enforcement actions. International law depends on the defence of nations¿ rights to self-determination, sovereignty and independence. She shows that the UN remains committed to the prohibition of any forcible intervention in the internal affairs of any nations. Gray maintains that the reasoning of the International Court of Justice in Nicaragua¿s case against the USA in 1986 is of paramount importance in this area because it is the Court¿s first extended discussion of the law on the use of force. The Court found that Nicaragua had not attacked anybody, but that the US government had illegally used force and intervened in Nicaragua. The Court rejected the US claim that its Contra war was justified as `humanitarian¿ intervention. The US state has refused to accept the verdict. Gray shows that the similar recent US/British attacks on Iraq and Yugoslavia were also illegal: ¿The use of the doctrine of implied authorization by the Security Council to justify the military action by the USA and the UK in Iraq in 1993 and 1998, by NATO in Kosovo and most recently by the USA, the UK and Australia in Operation Iraqi Freedom shows lip-service to the authority of the UN, but an unwillingness actually to accept the decisions of the Security Council.¿ As UN Secretary-General Kofi Anna said in 1999, ¿enforcement actions without Security Council authorisation threaten the very core of the international security system.¿ On 16 September 2004, he stated that the war on Iraq was illegal. Recent UN Resolutions have not endorsed the war as legal. The illegal invasion has now become an illegal belligerent occupation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.