- Research guides
- Library services
- Library News
- About us
Use of Force
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.
- Brownlie, I., International Law and the Use of Force by States, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1963.
- Dinstein, Y., War, Aggression and Self-Defence, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Gray, C., International Law and the Use of Force, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
- O’Connell, M.E., International Law and the Use of Force: Cases and Materials, New York, NY, Foundation Press, Thomson West, 2009.
- Brownlie, I., International Law and the Use of Force by States, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1963.
- Cannizzarro, E. and P. Palchetti, Customary International Law on the Use of Force : a Methodological Approach, Leyden : Nijhoff, 2005.
- Corten, O., The Law against War: the Prohibition on the Use of Force in Contemporary International Law, Oxford : Hart, 2010.
- Helmke, B., Under attack: challenges to the Rules Governing the International Use of Force, Farnham : Ashgate, 2010.
- Hudson, K.A., Justice, Intervention, and Force in International Relations : Reassessing Just War Theory in the 21st Century, London etc. : Routledge, 2009.
- Labrecque, G., Les Différends territoriaux en Europe : jurisprudence de la Cour Internationale de Justice, Paris : L’Harmattan, 2009.
- O’Connell, M.E., International Law and the Use of Force : Cases and Materials, New York, NY : Foundation Press/Thomson West, 2009.
- Westra, J., International Law and the Use of Armed Force : the UN Charter and the Major Powers, London etc. : Routledge, 2007.
- Bethlehem, D., “Self-Defense Against an Imminent or Actual Armed Attack by Nonstate Actors”, American Journal of International Law, 106 (2012), No.4, pp. 769-777.
- Bianchi, A., “The International Regulation of the Use of Force: the Politics of Interpretative Method” in: Van den Herik, L., and N. Schrijver (eds.), Counter-Terrorism Strategies in a Fragmented International Legal Order: Meeting the Challenges, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 283-316.
- Gray, C.D., “The Use of Force for Humanitarian Purposes”, in: N.D. White and C. Henderson (eds.), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law : “Jus ad bellum, jus in bello,” and “Jus post bellum”, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013, pp. 229-255.
- Gray, C.D., “The International Court of Justice and the Use of Force”, in: C. J. Tams and J. Sloan (eds.), The Development of International Law by the International Court of Justice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 237-261.
- Green, J.A., “Questioning the Peremptory Status of the Prohibition of the Use of Force”, Michigan Journal of International Law, 32 (2011), No. 3, pp. 215-257.
- Kritsiotis, D., “A Study of the Scope and Operation of the Rights of Individual and Collective Self-defence under International Law”, in: N.D. White and C. Henderson (eds.), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law : “Jus ad bellum, jus in bello,” and “Jus post bellum”, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013, pp. 170-228.
- Kranz, J., “Die völkerrechtliche Verantwortlichkeit für die Anwendung militärischer Gewalt : Maßstäbe der Zurechenbarkeit”, Archiv des Völkerrechts, 48 (2010), No. 3, pp. 281-337.
- O’Connel, M.E., ”The Prohibition of the Use of Force”, in: N.D. White and C. Henderson (eds.), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law : “Jus ad bellum, jus in bello,” and “Jus post bellum”, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013, pp. 89-119.
- Sayapin, S., “International Law, the Use of Force and the Crime of Aggression: from the Charter of the United Nations to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”, Asian Yearbook of International Law, 15 (2012), pp. 3-41.
- Slager,K., ”Legality, Legitimacy and Anticipatory Self-Defence: Considering an Israeli Preemptive Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Program”, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 38 (2012), No. 1, pp. 267-325.
- Waxman, M.C., “Cyber-Attacks and the Use of Force : Back to the Future of Article 2(4)”, Yale Journal of International Law, 36 (2011), No. 2, pp. 421-459.
- Webb, Ph., “Use of Force and the Emerging International Judicial System”, in Andrew Byrnes, Mika Hayashi and Christopher Michaelsen (eds.), International Law in the New Age of Globalization, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013, pp. 121-143.
- Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928.
- Chapter VII United Nations Charter.
- Scott,S.V., A.J. Billingsley and C. Michaelsen, International Law and the Use of Force : a Documentary and Reference Guide, Santa Barbara, CA (etc.) : Praeger Security International, 2010.
- Schmitt, M.N. (ed.), Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.[e-book]
1. The politics of justifying force
The politics of justifying force : the Suez crisis, the Iraq war, and international law / Charlotte Peevers. - Oxford ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2013. - XII, 274 pagina's. ; 24 cm Bibliografie: pagina 257-269. - Met literatuuropgave, index. - 2013
Keywords: Great Britain, Egypt, Iraq War (2003), Intervention, Use of force, History, International law,
Keywords: Great Britain, Egypt, Iraq War (2003), Intervention, Use of force, History, International law,
These publications are selected for you by Raymond Ridderhof.
Fry, J.D., Legal Resolution of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Disputes, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
How viable is the resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes through the International Court of Justice and international arbitration? James Fry examines the compromissory clauses in the IAEA Statute, IAEA Safeguards Agreements and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material that give jurisdiction to these fora and analyses recent jurisprudence to demonstrate how legal resolution can handle such politically sensitive disputes. In sum, legal resolution of nuclear non-proliferation disputes represents an option that States and commentators have all too often ignored. The impartiality and procedural safeguards of legal resolution should make it an acceptable option for target States and the international community, especially vis-…-vis the procedural shortcomings and general heavy-handedness of Security Council involvement under UN Charter Chapter VII.
Neri, K., L'emploi de la force en mer, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Alder, M.C., The Inherent Right of Self-Defence in International Law, Dordrecht, Springer, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Llopis, A.P., Force, ONU et organisations régionales: répartition des responsabilités en matière coercitive, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Weller, M., Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Corten, O., The Law against War: the Prohibition on the Use of Force in Contemporary International Law, Oxford, Hart, 2010.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
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.
Kamto, M., L'agression en droit international, Paris, Pedone, 2010.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Dans l’ordre international contemporain, l’agression apparaît comme le crime le plus grave qui puisse être commis dans les relations entre Etats. C’est peut-être même le plus grave des crimes internationaux : non seulement il porte atteinte à l’existence-même de l’Etat victime et, ce faisant, aux principes essentiels du droit international, mais encore il est généralement à l’origine des autres crimes considérés comme les plus graves par la communauté internationale, en particulier le crime de guerre et le crime contre l’humanité. En ce sens, l’agression peut être considérée comme la mère de la plupart des crimes internationaux résultant de la violence de l’Etat.
- American Society of International Law, Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL), Use of Force
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Use of Force, Prohibition of Threat, by Michael Wood
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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).Read more
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.
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).Read more
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).
- Research guide Useofforce Peace Palace Library
- Du droit international au droit impérial? Reflexions sur la guerre contre l'Irak in Revue d'analyse juridique de l'actualité internationale
- Déclaration de Bruges sur le recours a la force [2 septembre 2003]
- Problèmes actuels du recours à la force en droit international [27 octobre 2007]
More Research guides on War, Peace and Security
- Biological and Chemical Weapons
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Peace and Security
- World War I
- World War II