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The Nonconsenting Innocent State: The Problem with Bethlehem’s Principle 12

  • Dire Tladi (a1)

Extract

In a recent issue of this Journal, Daniel Bethlehem proposed a set of principles on the scope of a state’s right of self-defense against an imminent or actual armed attack by nonstate actors. In response, this essay seeks to assess Bethlehem’s proposition in principle 12 that a state may use force against nonstate actors on the territory of another state without the consent of the territorial state when the territorial state is not responsible for the initial attack and when the attack cannot be imputed to the territorial state. This description might be termed the non-consenting innocent state problem.

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1 Bethlehem, Daniel, Self-Defense Against an Imminent or Actual Armed Attack by Nonstate Actors, 106 AJIL 769 (2012).

2 Id. at 775, princ. 1.

3 Id. at 776, princ. 10.

4 Id., princ. 11 (emphasis added) (footnote omitted).

5 Id., princ. 12 (emphasis added) (footnote omitted).

6 UN Charter, Art. 51.

7 See, e.g., Murphy, Sean D., Self-Defense and the Israeli Wall Advisory Opinion: An Ipse Dixit from the ICJ? , 99 AJIL 62, 64 (2005); Paust, Jordan J., Self-Defense Targetings of Non-state Actors and Permissibility of U.S. Use of Drones in Pakistan, 19 J. Transnat’l L. & Pol. 237, 241 (2010); Dugard, John, International Law: A South African Perspective 512 (3d ed. 2005).

8 See, e.g., Paust, supra note 7, at 241– 44; Murphy, supra note 7, at 64–67.

9 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, opened for signature May 23, 1969, 1155 UNTS 331.

10 Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), 1986 ICJ Rep. 14, para. 195 (June 27) [hereinafter Military and Paramilitary Activities].

11 See id., para. 155; see also Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, 2004 ICJ Rep. 136, para. 139 (July 9) [hereinafter Wall].

12 Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Dem. Rep. Congo v.Uganda), 2005 ICJ Rep. 168, para. 146 (Dec. 19) [hereinafter Armed Activities].

13 Id.

14 Id.

15 see Paust, supra note 7, at 241– 44; Murphy, supra note 7, at 65; see also Bethlehem, supra note 1, at 771. See generally van Steenberghe, Raphaël, Self-Defence in Response to Attacks by Non-state Actors in the Light of Recent Practice: A Step Forward?, 23 Leiden J. Int’l L. 183,185 (2010).

16 Military and Paramilitary Activities, supra note 10, para. 176.

17 Id.

18 For a description of the facts, see Paust,supra note 7, at 241–43. For a fuller discussion, see Sofaer, Abraham D., On the Necessity of Pre-emption, 14 Eur. J. Int’l L. 209, 214 –20 (2003).

19 See Paust, supra note 7, at 241–44; Murphy, supra note 7, at 65. The exchange of diplomatic notes between the United Kingdom and the United States is reprinted in 2 John Bassett Moore, A Digest of International Law 409–13 (1906).

20 2 Moore, supra note 19, at 411.

21 Id. at 412.

22 See, e.g., Paust, supra note 7, at 241–44; Murphy, supra note 7, at 65.

23 See generally Brownlie, Ian, Principles of Public International Law 697 (6th ed. 2003); Dugard, supra note 7, at 501; Philippe Sands, Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules—From Fdr’S Atlantic Charter to George W. Bush’s Illegal War 176 (2005).

24 Janis, Mark W., An Introduction to International Law 172 (3d ed. 1999).

25 Dugard, supra note 7, at 501.

26 2 Moore, supra note 19, at 412.

27 Brownlie, supra note 23, at 701 (emphasis added).

28 Id.

29 Vienna Convention, supra note 9, Art. 31(1).

30 Malanczuk, Peter, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law 312(7th rev.ed. 1997).

31 See Military and Paramilitary Activities, supra note 10, para. 195; Wall, supra note 11, para. 139; Armed Activities, supra note 12, para. 146; cf. Murphy, supra note 7, at 64; Paust, supra note 7, at 241; Dugard, supra note 7, at 512.

32 Vienna Convention, supra note 9, Art. 31(3)(b) (noting that, for treaty interpretation, subsequent practice “shall be taken into account”); see also International Law Commission, Provisional Summary Record of the 3172nd Meeting: Subsequent Agreements and Subsequent Practice in Relation to the Interpretation of Treaties, at 3, Draft Conclusion 1, para. 3, UN Doc. A/CN.4/SR.3172 (June 25, 2013) (report of the drafting committee stating that for treaty interpretation “there shall be taken into account, together with the context,... any subsequent practice”).

33 Paust, supra note 74, at 238; Murphy, supra note 7, at 67; van Steenberghe, supra note 15, at 194.

34 see Paust, supra note 7, at 248–49; Murphy, supra note 7, at 67.

35 SC Res.1368 (Sept. 12, 2001); SC Res. 1373 (Sept. 28, 2001).

36 Paust, supra note 7, at 248–49; Murphy, supra note 7, at 67.

37 See Paust, supra note 7, at 249; Murphy, supra note 7, at 67.

38 Griffin, David Ray, Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan? Using the McChrystal Moment to Raise a Forbidden Question, Foreign Pol’y J., June 25, 2010, at www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/06/25/did-911-justify-the-war-in-afghanistan (noting that the question of the legality of the war in Afghanistan “has... been considered off-limits, not to be raised in polite company”) .

39 George W.Bush, Address After Terrorist Attacks (Sept. 11, 2001),available at http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/11/bush.speech.text/index.html.

40 George W. Bush, Speech to Joint Session of Congress: War on Terror (Sept. 20, 2001), available at http://middleeast.about.com/od/usmideastpolicy/a/bush-war-on-terror-speech.htm.

41 Id.

42 SC Res. 1368, supra note 35; SC Res. 1373, supra note 35.

43 Murphy, supra note 7, at 67.

44 Bethlehem, supra note 1, at 773.

* The views expressed in this article are not attributable to the Government of South Africa or the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

The Nonconsenting Innocent State: The Problem with Bethlehem’s Principle 12

  • Dire Tladi (a1)

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