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This chapter discusses how the CJEU invokes and applies substantive customary international law rules within the EU legal system; to which extent they are relevant to this system: whether the interpretation of these rules by the CJEU conforms to the traditional rules of interpretation in international law; and whether the Court pursues a specific strategy in doing so (and whether there is coherence and/or certain patterns to its jurisprudence in this respect). The substantive customary international rules used by the CJEU and thus further assessed here are those governing ‘territory’, ‘territoriality’ and ‘extra-territoriality’; substantive customary rules of the VCLT (other than interpretation rules); and lastly, some of the most fundamental rules of international law (such as the prohibition of the use of force and the right to self-determination).
The United Nations Security Council has the authority to adopt binding decisions and to authorise military means to ensure international peace and security. Whereas the Security Council is not typically associated with animal protection, wildlife issues have become an international security concern. Wildlife poaching and trafficking of wildlife products finance criminal networks and armed groups. The Security Council has adopted several resolutions addressing wildlife poaching and trafficking as commodities with implications on international security. Poaching and trafficking of wildlife have also been met with militarised anti-poaching enforcement – on a few occasions in cooperation with United Nations Peacekeeping forces. The militarised responses may contribute to protect wildlife, but they also risk escalating the violence affecting local communities. The chapter argues that the Security Council needs to address wildlife poaching and trafficking broadly, resorting to binding decisions. It should authorise military means only as a last and temporary resort.
The role of the UN Security Council in the protection of civilians has evolved significantly over the last twenty-five years. This chapter describes how civilian protection has become not only a mandate for UN peacekeeping but also the grounds for Council authorisation of military action. The chapter also describes the difference (and overlap) between the protection of civilians and the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). It also touches on the controversial issue of unilateral humanitarian intervention as a means to protect civilians.
International organisations reflect global power configurations and as such, are deemed to reproduce global inequalities. Nevertheless, they also represent opportunities for the Global South to challenge the global stratification of power, for instance by providing personnel to international agencies and bureaucracies. This article examines the role of leadership personnel from the Global South in implementing robust peacekeeping mandates.
Given that states from the Global South have often been hesitant to support the use of force internationally, can leadership positions in peace operations help these states to influence norms at the implementation level? We develop a conceptual understanding of individuals’ role in implementing norms and apply the framework to military force commanders from Brazil, India, and Rwanda. The analysis demonstrates that appointments provide an opportunity for norm contestation, but do not necessarily guarantee such influence. Under certain circumstances, we find that military force commanders can actually undermine their governments’ preferences. However, the relation between force commanders’ practices and their country of origin's policy stance is complex and influenced by a variety of different factors that merit further investigation.
This chapter considers the interaction of the Security Council with other international organizations in relation to the use of force and the role that international organizations may play in implementing Council authorizations to use force. This is an area where the Security Council, the international organizations concerned, and member states have shown great flexibility, with the provisions of the UN Charter (both Chapter VII and Chapter VIII) and of the constituent instruments of the regional and other organizations being developed through extensive practice. A difficult question, however, arises where member states grant regional organizations the authority to carry out such interventions without the target state’s consent to the specific action and without Council authorization, in particualr in light of Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the AU. The chapter concludes that it cannot be said that Article 4(h) of the AU Constitutive Act or similar provisions allow for the use of force without Security Council authorization. The Council remains the body vested by member states with the power to authorize ‘enforcement action’.
This chapter challenges legislative and judicial efforts to immunize police officers from all but the most outrageous misconduct by finding “objectively reasonable” virtually all uses of force by officers and providing “qualified immunity” in the rare instance when the use of force is deemed excessive. This failure to provide any sort of check or deterrent against the use of force by armed, implicitly biased officers improperly strengthens the weapon in weaponized racial fear and further empowers bias-motivated individuals to act on their biases.
This chapter, which is split into three parts, covers Germany’s perspective on the use of force; armed conflict and international humanitarian law; and arms control and disarmament. The first part discusses the finding of the German Constitutional Court that self-defence against non-State actors is a tenable interpretation of Article 51 of the UN Charter; the Federal Government justifying the fight against ‘ISIL’ in Syria on grounds of collective self-defence; Germany’s take on the legality of the Turkish invasion of north-eastern Syria under international law; Germany backing India’s cross-border strikes against terrorists in Pakistan-administered Kashmir; and Germany’s position that Saudi Arabia was invited to intervene in Yemen. The second part deals with the launch of the Humanitarian Call for Action by France and Germany; Germany opposing the new US position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank; and Germany commenting on the ILC draft principles on the protection of the environment in relation to armed conflict. Germany’s condemnation of DPRK’s missile test is addressed in the last part.
The UN Security Council and International Law explores the legal powers, limits and potential of the United Nations Security Council, offering a broadly positive (and positivist) account of the Council's work in practice. This book aims to answer questions such as 'when are Council decisions binding and on whom?', 'what legal constraints exist on Council decision making?' and 'how far is the Council bound by international law?'. Defining the controlling legal rules and differentiating between what the Council can do, as opposed to what it should do as a matter of policy, this book offers both a tool for assessment of the Council as well as realistic solutions to address its deficiencies, and, most importantly, evaluates its potential for maintaining international peace and security, to the benefit of us all.
This chapter examines how a cyberattack that has consequences similar to a kinetic or physical attack – causing serious loss of life or physical damage – could be encompassed within the crimes that may be prosecuted before the International Criminal Court (“ICC”). While it is a very limited subset of cyber operations that might fall within the ambit of the ICC’s Rome Statute, the chapter explains when and how a cyberattack could constitute genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or the crime of aggression. The chapter additionally acknowledges limitations as to which attacks would be encompassed, given, particularly, the ICC’s gravity threshold as well as the hurdle of proving attribution by admissible evidence that could meet the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Notwithstanding such limitations, increased awareness of the largely previously overlooked potential of the Rome Statute to cover certain cyberattacks could potentially contribute to deterring such crimes and to reaching the goal of a state of “cyber peace.”
Military administration is the norm international law applies to territories that are not under the sovereignty of a State. Nevertheless, military government, by its nature, denies the local population the democratic right to choose their own form of government, and it is, therefore, intrinsically a temporary situation. Some ninety per cent of the Arab population on the West Bank are now under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority but, nevertheless, the fact that there are still parts of the West Bank under Israeli military administration, some sixty years after the June 1967 War, is anomalous. It should be hoped that a solution will be found that allows the remaining ten percent of the local Arab population full democratic rights. Such a solution will need to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.
Chapter 3 considers factual uncertainty in the jus ad bellum. It describes how the vagueness described in Chapter 2 can affect factual evidence in the jus ad bellum. Such situations are often chaotic, fast moving, involving actors trying to mislead, and where factual evidence is open to different interpretations. Tests such as necessity, imminence and proportionality require decision-makers to compare multiple forecasts of outcomes if force is used or not. Survey participants evaluating four fictional conflict scenarios, demonstrating how even fictional ‘facts’ elicit varying opinions. The ICJ’s rules of evidence only reduce rather than resolve factual uncertainty. The chapter suggests a second potential explanation for contestation in the jus ad bellum: lawyers resolve factual uncertainties and make forecasts using their politico-strategic and ethical intuitions, forming competing strategic cultures disagreeing about legality of specific cases and the jus ad bellum more generally. Thus ‘restrictivist’ lawyers prefer a ‘pacificist’ strategic culture, seeing little extra-legal justification for force, while ‘expansionist’ lawyers prefer an ‘interventionist’ strategic culture, seeing more such extra-legal justifications.
This book argues that lawyers must often rely on contestable ethical and strategic intuitions when dealing with legal and factual uncertainties in 'hard cases' of resort to force. This area of international law relies on multiple tests which can be interpreted in different ways, do not yield binary 'yes/no' answers, and together define 'paradigms' of lawful and unlawful force. Controversial cases of force differ from these paradigms, requiring lawyers to assess complex, incomplete factual evidence, and to forecast the immediate and long-term consequences of using and not using force. Legal rules cannot resolve such uncertainties; instead, techniques from legal risk management, strategic intelligence assessment and political forecasting may help. This study develops these arguments using the philosophy of knowledge, socio-legal, politico-strategic and ethical theory, structured interviews and a survey with 31 UK-based international lawyers, and systematic analysis of key International Court of Justice cases and scholarly assessments of US-led interventions.
This chapter begins by introducing a number of foundational concepts, which serve as the starting point in the field of public international law. Section 1 of this chapter begins with the notion that states are sovereign equals, which must consent to be bound by nternational law. This section also introduces the critical distinction that international law makes between states and “non-state actors.” Section 2 of this chapter discusses the inevitable comparison of public international law with domestic legal systems, and the significant limitations of this analogy as a means for understanding the field of public international law. Section 3 concludes by explaining this book’s overarching structure, as well as the approach of this book to the introduction of public international law.
This chapter introduces the jus ad bellum: the rules of law determining when states may resort to war or, more broadly, the use of armed force. These rules must be distinguished from the jus in bello: these are the rules of law that apply in armed conflict (known as international humanitarian law). In order to put the current jus ad bellum rules into perspective, the chapter begins by introducing the concept of collective security and demonstrating how this was applied during the League of Nations era. The following sections set out the relevant rules of the UN Charter on the prevention and regulation of recourse to the use of force, with a particular focus on the prohibition on the threat or use of force. The chapter also discusses the collective use of force, meaning the use of force authorized by the Security Council, and the unilateral use of force in self-defense. Finally, the chapter examines whether new exceptions to the prohibition of the use of force are emerging -- in particular, humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect.
This article examines when states are allowed to use force against neutral merchant ships outside territorial waters. This is regulated by both international humanitarian law and the prohibition of the use of force, which apply concurrently to naval warfare. The prohibition of the use of force imposes narrower limits than international humanitarian law, in the sense that certain actions that have traditionally been permitted under international humanitarian law are contrary to the prohibition of the use of force. The prohibition of the use of force exempts uses of force based on UN Security Council resolutions, consent and self-defence. Where there is no UN Security Council resolution or consent, self-defence remains the only option, and self-defence does not give a right to direct the use of force towards third states or their ships. Therefore, the right to self-defence does not permit blockades outside territorial waters or visit and search operations that are not founded on specific suspicions against individual ships, even though such operations may be permitted under international humanitarian law. These conclusions are supported by an examination of state practice and opinio juris, where the few relevant instances that do exist have met with widespread protests from other states.
Global climate change presents an unprecedented challenge for all academic disciplines. Here we analyse the challenge presented to certain basic concepts and principles of international law. While new legal regimes have been created and others adapted to respond to the threats posed by climate change, many foundational aspects of international law remain unchanged in the face of very significant problems. The first problematic area is that of the fundamental notion of statehood, as well as issues of sovereignty. And what of the impact of climate change on human rights and humanitarian intervention, as well as on notions of State responsibility and liability? The Asia-Pacific region is already feeling the impacts of frequent intense weather events (whether one sees these as climate change impacts or not) and has the highest figures for the number of displaced persons by region for natural disasters. Thus, where possible, this chapter will draw from examples in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the past decade China's engagement with UN peacekeeping has intensified. In particular, Beijing has supported and participated in peace operations that were not fully compatible with the consensual, impartial, and non-coercive models of peacekeeping traditionally employed by the United Nations. China's endorsement of offensive and intrusive missions is not inconsequential, given that it clashes with its professed adherence to rigid interpretations of the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, and the non-use of force in international relations. This article suggests that to make sense of China's involvement in unconventional peacekeeping operations one must examine the broader process of foreign policy recalibration that is redefining the interests and priorities of the country as a new great power. Furthermore, by examining China's ambivalent approach to the principles that have traditionally defined the legal framework of UN peacekeeping, this article highlights the opportunities and challenges that China will face as a provider of international security.
This article challenges the effectiveness of the prevailing interpretation of the contemporary use of force model that is centred on a decidedly narrow selection of relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter). In the now seventy-five years of the UN Charter era, predominant modes of armed conflict have evolved so as to be largely unrecognizable when compared to the model of war that was contemplated when negotiating and ratifying the Charter. Nonetheless, modes of engaging with an actual or contemplated use of force remain rooted in a model developed more than seven decades ago. This article suggests that a new frame of analysis is needed. The “Reframer” approach and “Purposes and Principles” model developed herein remain just as firmly grounded in the UN Charter as the prevailing interpretation. However, this novel approach and model incorporate a degree of nuance and adaptiveness that is not feasible when applying the prevailing interpretation of the contemporary use of force model.
Chapter 17 attempts to pin down a moving target, cyber and its use and utility in armed conflict. The cyber targets chosen by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are detailed. The chapter defines cyber “attacks,” differentiating them from cyber “operations” – akin to a felony-misdemeanor distinction. Cyberattacks are found to be a use of armed force, in the sense of UN Charter Article 2(4), raising the right of victim states to respond with armed force in self-defense. Potential cyber conflicts are classified as international or non-international based upon their perpetrators. The difficulties of attribution of cyberattacks are detailed, including sovereignty and military necessity. A counter to cyberattack is belligerent reprisal, which is explored. Cyberattacks on critical national infrastructure (CNI) are a major problem. After defining CNI, the US position on responses is discussed. Recent changes in US cyber policy authorize far greater cyber retaliation and reprisal, as well as providing federal funding to carry them out. Finally, CNI’s weak link, the unwillingness of civilian corporations to fund their own cyber protection, is noted.
Richard Baxter famously stated that “the first line of defence against international humanitarian law is to deny that it applies at all”. While “under-classification” remains an issue today, a parallel trend needs to be acknowledged. This is the tendency to over-classify situations of violence, especially in relation to transnational terrorist organizations such as the so-called Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda. This tendency stems from practical difficulties inherent in the changing operational environment. The last few years have witnessed a proliferation of armed non-State actors that are labelled or designated as terrorists (e.g., in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Nigeria and Yemen). Terrorist groups are characterized by opaque, often volatile organizational structures and tend to operate in decentralized networks rather than clear hierarchies. The formation of splinter groups, changing alliances, temporary reunification and even open hostility among former allies are common phenomena. This complex factual situation has led to the proliferation of theories of conflict classification, many of them arguing in favour of more flexible classification via the loosening of existing standards. Because international humanitarian law is in many respects less protective than international human rights law, particularly regarding the rules on the use of force and detention, classifying a situation of violence as an armed conflict when the threshold has not been met is a problem that should not be underestimated. In this article, we revisit the criteria of intensity and organization, as well as the related matter of the role of motives in conflict classification, considering conflicts involving armed groups described as terrorists. Our goal is to identify minimum requirements that could diminish the risk of over-classification by various stakeholders.