University of Hull, Force, Security and International Law

Force, Security and International

Law‘Article 2(4) has been violated so often since its adoption in 1945 that it is
difficult to have an accurate count. Such violations have induced a handful
of scholars … to declare it a “dead letter”, an example of desuetude in the
law. Most scholars, however, have agreed with the ICJ that this conclusion
is likely derived from a poor understanding of how rules work in the
international community.’ (M.E. O’Connell).
2. The issue of attribution is key to the use of force in self-defence against
non-State actors – but it relates to the target of any defensive action rather
than to the existence of an armed attack.


3. In light of the current system of authorisation of forcible action, to what
extent is the UN Security Council able to exert centralised control over the
use of force by States under Chapter VII?
4. ‘It is no longer tenable to assert that whenever a government massacres
its own people or a state collapses into anarchy international law forbids
military intervention altogether.’ (C. Greenwood).

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