This book explores the large and controversial subject of the use of force in international law. It examines not only the use of force by states but also the role of the UN in peacekeeping and enforcement action, and the increasing role of regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security.
The UN Charter framework is under challenge. Russia's invasion of Georgia and intervention in Ukraine, the USA's military operations in Syria, and Saudi Arabia's campaign to restore the government of Yemen by force all raise questions about the law on intervention. The 'war on terror' that began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA has not been won. It has spread far beyond Afghanistan: it has led to targeted killings in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, and to intervention against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Is there an expanding right of self-defence against non-state actors? Is the use of force effective? The development of nuclear weapons by North Korea has reignited discussion about the legality of pre-emptive self-defence. The NATO-led operation in Libya increased hopes for the implementation of 'responsibility to protect', but it also provoked criticism for exceeding the Security Council's authorization of force because its outcome was regime change. UN peacekeeping faces new challenges, especially with regard to the protection of civilians, and UN forces have been given revolutionary mandates in several African states. But the 2015 report Uniting Our Strengths reaffirmed that UN peacekeeping is not suited to counter-terrorism or enforcement operations; the UN should turn to regional organizations such as the African Union as first responders in situations of ongoing armed conflict.
About the Author
Christine Gray, Professor of International Law, and Fellow, University of Cambridge, and St John's College
Christine Gray is Professor in International Law at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge
Table of Contents
1. Law and Force
2. The Prohibition of the Use of Force
3. Invitation and Intervention
5. The Use of Force against Terrorism: a New War for a New Century?
6. The UN and the Use of Force
7. Security Council Authorization for Member States to Use Force
8. Regional Peacekeeping and Enforcement Action
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.