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Self-Defence against Non-State Actors - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Self-Defence against Non-State Actors” the author answers the question: Does contemporary international law permit states to exercise the right to self-defense against non-state actors? The legitimate boundaries have always been a controversial focus of international law…
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Self-Defence against Non-State Actors
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Download file to see previous pages Prior to 1945, there was no unified international prohibition on a unilateral resort to force and the UN Charter sought to radicalize international politics through a general prohibition on the use of unilateral force by member states. The prohibition was officially enshrined in Article 2(4) of the Charter, which provides that:
“All member states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”(UN Charter Article 2(4) 1945).
Despite the purported ban on the unilateral use of force, the parameters of Article 2(4)’s applicability have remained uncertain, with some questioning its practical efficacy as a protective measure against unilateral use of force (Dixon 2004). This is further highlighted by Reisman’s view that “Article 2(4) was never an independent ethical imperative of pacifism” (Reisman 1984). Indeed the wording of Article 2(4) would appear to underline this as the prohibition appears to be subject to the caveat that the unilateral force must not be “inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations” (UN Charter Article 2(4) 1945). This ambiguity is compounded by the failure to clarify what is a legitimate purpose of the United Nations, coupled with the right of member states to self-defense under Article 51 (UN Charter, Article 51 1945).
Moreover, the aftermath of September 11 has been utilized as a basis for reshaping the dimensions to the “legitimate” use of force under international law, with the legal definitions of self-defense being extended de facto to cover pre-emptive strikes (Dixon and McCorquodale, 2003). The most significant issues are the undermining of the legal validity of the right to self-defense under international law, which has been brought to the fore by military actions across borders against non-state sectors hiding. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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