Use of Force

Introduction

Use of Force - Research Guide International Law

Cornerstone to the prohibition of the resort to war – nowadays a principle of international law – is the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War or Kellogg Briand Pact (1928). This treaty entered into force at 24 July 1929 and is still in force and widely accepted. Although the League of Nations system did not prohibit war or the Use of Force but restricted it to tolerable levels, article 2(4) of the UN-Charter prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconstistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
In case of aggression by one nation-State against another, the United Nations Security Council is authorized under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to allow member states to take all necessary measures to maintain international peace and security. Some examples of Use of Force short of war: economic sanctions, boycott, pacific blockade, embargo, retorsion and reprisals.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on the Use of Force. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 199. Causes of War; Its Lawfulness; Theory of Aggression and subject heading (keyword) Use of Force are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Please take a look at a recently published Journal on the use of force and international law

Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Leading articles

Documents

New titles


1. Major Post-Westphalian Shifts and Some Important Neo-Westphalian Hesitations in the State Practice on the International Law on the Use of Force
Major Post-Westphalian Shifts and Some Important Neo-Westphalian Hesitations in the State Practice on the International Law on the Use of Force / Claus Kreß In: Journal on the Use of Force and International Law = ISSN 2053-1702: vol. 1, issue 1, page 11-. - 2014
Keywords: Use of force, Rights and duties of States, Territorial integrity of States, Charter of the United Nations (San Francisco, 26 June 1945), Peace of Westphalia, Public international law, History of international law, International peace and security,

2. The Crisis in Syria and Humanitarian Intervention
The Crisis in Syria and Humanitarian Intervention / Anders Henriksen, Marc Schack In: Journal on the Use of Force and International Law = ISSN 2053-1702: vol. 1, issue 1, page 122-147. - 2014
Keywords: Syria, Humanitarian intervention, Intervention, Jus ad bellum, Use of force, United Nations, International peace and security,

3. Secondary Responsibility to protect
Secondary Responsibility to protect : Enforcement Action by the UN Security Council in the 2011 Libyan Crisis / Hanspeter Neuhold In: Austrian Review of International and European Law = ISSN 1385-1306: vol. 16 (2011), page 137-159. - 2011
Keywords: Libya, United Nations, Security Council, Responsibility to protect, Sanctions, Use of force,

Librarian's choice

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  • Yoo, J., Point of Attack : Preventive War, International Law, and Global Welfare, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Yoo, J., Point of Attack : Preventive War, International Law, and Global Welfare, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Point of Attack argues that the time has come to replace the international rules of war. Current law permits nations to resort to force only in self-defense or under UN authority, which perversely allows mass civilian killings, civil wars, weapons proliferation, and terrorism to run rampant. A new approach should allow the great powers to intervene when a war would benefit global welfare more than the costs.

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  • Roscini, M., Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Roscini, M., Cyber Operations and the Use of Force in International Law, New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    The internet has changed the rules of many industries, and war is no exception. But can a computer virus be classed as an act of war? Does a Denial of Service attack count as an armed attack? And does a state have a right to self-defence when cyber attacked? With the range and sophistication of cyber operations against states dramatically increasing in recent times, Dr Marco Roscini’s timely book investigates the traditional concepts of ‘use of force’, ‘armed attack’ and ‘armed conflict’ and, through a comprehensive analysis of primary documents as well as through an extensive literature search, asks whether and how existing laws created in the analogue age can be applied in a digital age.

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  • Neri, K., L'emploi de la force en mer, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2013.

    Neri, K., L'emploi de la force en mer, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2013.

    Le droit international contemporain se trouve face à un défi majeur : assurer la sécurité et la liberté des espaces maritimes, alors que l’on y observe une recrudescence des activités illicites ou dangereuses. L’étude s’inscrit dans le cadre de ce défi et tente de cerner la problématique de l’emploi de la force en mer afin de lutter contre ces activités. Dans le contexte du développement et de la mise en oeuvre de pouvoirs de police dans les zones maritimes, l’ouvrage démontre l’ambivalence de la police internationale relative à la mer. Il est caractérisé par une double juxtaposition entre l’objet de l’emploi de la force en mer (activités illicites de personnes privées ou actes illicites des états) et entre les acteurs chargés de lutter contre l’illicite en mer.

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  • Alder, M.C., The Inherent Right of Self-Defence in International Law, Dordrecht, Springer, 2013.

    Alder, M.C., The Inherent Right of Self-Defence in International Law, Dordrecht, Springer, 2013.

    Also available as Fulltext e-book inside Peace Palace Library

    Determining the earliest point in time at which international law authorises a state to exercise its inherent right of self-defence is an issue which has been debated, but unsatisfactorily reasoned, by scholars and states since the 1960’s. Yet it remains arguably the most pressing question of law that faces the international community. This book unravels the legal and factual complications which have obscured the answer to this question. In contrast to most other works, it takes an historic approach by tracing the evolution of the rights, rules and principles of international law which have governed the use of force by states since the 16th century. Its emphasis on self-defence provides the reader with a new and complete understanding of how and why the international legal framework limits defensive force to repelling an imminent threat or use of offensive force which is directed at the territory of a state.

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  • Llopis, A.P., Force, ONU et organisations régionales: répartition des responsabilités en matière coercitive, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.

    Llopis, A.P., Force, ONU et organisations régionales: répartition des responsabilités en matière coercitive, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.

    L’étude se penche sur le rôle des organisations régionales dans le domaine de la coercition. L’auteur met en lumière qu’il existe deux modes de relation entre l’ONU et les organisations régionales, la déconcentration et la décentralisation. Dans certains cas l’ONU délègue aux organisations régionales l’exécution des réactions à une menace pour la paix et dans d’autres cas non.

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  • Weller, M., Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.

    Weller, M., Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.

    Also available as Fulltext e-book inside Peace Palace Library

    The prohibition of the use of force is one of the most crucial elements of the international legal order. Our understanding of that rule was both advanced and challenged during the period commencing with the termination of the Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait, and concluding with the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  The liberation of Kuwait, in particular, was seen by some as a powerful vindication of the prohibition of the use of force and of the UN Security Council. However, the operation was not really conducted in accordance with the requirements for collective security established in the UN Charter. In a second phase, an international coalition launched a humanitarian intervention operation, first in the north of Iraq, and subsequently in the south.

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  • Corten, O., The Law against War: the Prohibition on the Use of Force in Contemporary International Law, Oxford, Hart, 2010.

    Corten, O., The Law against War: the Prohibition on the Use of Force in Contemporary International Law, Oxford, Hart, 2010.

    This book – an updated translation of the original French version Le droit contre la guerre (2008) by Pedone – presents an examination of the non-use of force in contemporary international law. Some authors, especially in recent years, have claimed that this field is undergoing an important metamorphosis as a result, in particular, of the requirements of the ‘war against terror.’ More specifically, some consider that the systematic prohibition laid down in the Charter of the United Nations (1945) should be made more flexible in the current context of international relations, allowing further development of new concepts, such as ‘humanitarian intervention’ and ‘preemptive war,’ or providing for the possibility of presumptive authorization by the Security Council in certain exceptional circumstances. This highly original work suggests that if any notable changes can be observed, especially in the past two decades, State practice shows that the Charter system is still based on a true jus contra bellum and not on the jus ad bellum characterizing previous periods. In this sense, as the title of the book suggests, ‘law against war’ is not only a literal translation of the Latin expression, but evokes, at the same time, the spirit of a rule which remains undoubtedly one of the bases of public international law.

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Database

Blogs

  • Extending the Coalition against Islamic State

    Yesterday, Turkey’s parliament has backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria to join the campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants. While Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar have quickly joined the bombing campaign, Washington’s traditional Western allies had been slow to answer the call from U.S. President Barack Obama. France was the first Western country to respond, but this week national parliaments in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia have approved to join the global coalition against Islamic State too.

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  • ICC to Investigate War Crimes in Gaza?

    On July 23, Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, suggested that attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hamas may have violated international law “in a manner that could amount to war crimes.” Senior British lawyers have written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, urging it to investigate “crimes” committed in Gaza, including the destruction of homes, hospitals and schools. The lawyers say that it is within the ICC’s jurisdiction to act because the government of Palestine made a declaration in 2009 accepting the court’s role and the UN has since acknowledged Palestine as a non-member observer state.

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  • Hague Academy Model United Nations on Drone Warfare and International Law

    Directed energy weapons, drones, self targeting bullets, mobile tactical high energy lasers, military robots, spy weapons, weapons undetectable under an x-ray scan, remote controlled insect armies, self driving tanks, robotic mules, thermal camouflage, surveillance technologies and autonomous unmanned systems are some examples of the high tech weapons and military technology that are now used during warfare. The use of this state of the art military technology raises serious ethical and legal questions: (when) is the use of drones acceptable?

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  • Hamas versus Israel : Gaza dangerzone again

    The military leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, has been assassinated in an Israeli air strike in Gaza. Who is the initial aggressor in this particular case? Peace negotiations with Hamas resulted in a ceasefire on November 21, at 9 pm., which has been respected so far.

    Both parties claim the victory.

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  • The Legality of Drone Attacks

    According to a recent report by Stanford and New York Universities’ law schools (Living Under Drones), the current US drone strike policy is counterproductive, has injured and killed civilians and undermines respect for international law. This blog explores briefly both the ius ad bellum and ius in bello implications of drone attacks.

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  • Conference about ICJ's judgment in the case between Nicaragua and the USA

    In 1986, the International Court of Justice issued its judgment on the merits in a dispute between Nicaragua and the United States of America. Twenty-five years later, members of the legal teams of both Nicaragua and the United States faced each other once again in the Peace Palace.

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  • Georgia on his mind. From R2P toR2I?

    Russia always maintained that its intervention in Georgia was justified by the principle of “responsibility to protect” (R2P).
    Russian President Medvedev, also supreme military commander, introduced an amendment to the Russian defense Law to allow Russian armed forces to intervene beyond Russian borders.

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  • UN report accuses Israel of recklessness in Gaza

    A U.N. inquiry accused Israel on Tuesday 5 May of gross negligence and recklessness in attacks on U.N. property in the Gaza strip during fighting between the Jewish state and Palestinian militants in January (see the article of Patrick Worsnip in Reuters).
    An article of the Guardian by Ed Pilkington (New York) and Rory McCarthy in (Jerusalem) at Tuesday 5 May 2009 reports that: “The summary of the UN report, commissioned by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, censured the Israeli government for causing death, injuries and damage to UN property in seven incidents involving action by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

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See also

More Research guides on War, Peace and Security

PPL keywords

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