Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 July 2019
This Trialogue has discussed whether and – if yes – under which conditions international law as it stands allows for self-defence against non-State actors on the territory of a non-consenting State. Unsurprisingly, it has not come up with one clear answer. Rather, it has come up with three distinct answers – the contrast and interplay of which illuminate the facets and intricate details of one of the most pressing problems of international peace and security law. Dire Tladi advocates an inter-State reading of self-defence based on a thorough investigation of the UN Charter framework and recent State practice and thus concludes that self-defence against an ‘innocent’ State is unlawful. Christian Tams arrives at the opposite result. Employing – as Tladi does – a principally positivist method, his finding is that the better interpretation of the law is open for self-defence against non-State actors.