Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-qn7h5 Total loading time: 0.294 Render date: 2022-10-01T18:31:41.915Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

SELF-DEFENCE: A STATE OF MIND FOR STATES?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2008

Get access

Abstract

This paper focuses upon a comparatively overlooked issue with regard to the scope of self-defence in international law: whether the subjective ‘psychological’ positions of the states concerned in a dispute involving the use force have any impact upon the lawfulness of an action avowedly taken in self-defence. There exists a long standing conception that the motives of a state responding in self-defence are relevant to the lawfulness of that response. The purity (or impurity) of a state's motive forms the basis of a distinction for many writers between a lawful self-defence action and an unlawful armed reprisal. Similarly, in recent decisions of the ICJ, the implication has been that the subjective intention of the attacking state may be relevant to the question of whether the attack perpetrated by that state can trigger the right of self-defence. The conclusion is reached here that the lawfulness of an avowed self-defence action should be premised upon objective criteria alone. Moreover, this reflects the law as it is in fact applied in practice. It is argued that the subjective ‘psychological’ position of either the responding or attacking state has no place in the final analysis of whether an action in self-defence was lawful or unlawful.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Contributors 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

SELF-DEFENCE: A STATE OF MIND FOR STATES?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

SELF-DEFENCE: A STATE OF MIND FOR STATES?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

SELF-DEFENCE: A STATE OF MIND FOR STATES?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *