Self Defence

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Briefly Noted: New Report on Somali Piracy

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee released its report on Somali piracy on 5 January 2012.* I acted as a specialist advisor to the committee, so I will not offer a full analysis but simply highlight some points of interest: the report is critical of the failure to contain piracy in the Indian Ocean; however, it acknowledges that absent further naval resources the only effective way to protect vessels is to allow them to protect themselves – it thus supports the use of armed guards in some cases; indeed, the committee notes that UK government policy on armed guards appeared to shift during its inquiry, with the release last December of a Department of Transport policy allowing the use of armed security on UK flag vessels for the first time; the committee calls on the government to issue clear guidance on when armed guards may use potentially lethal force, noting that Crown Prosecution Service guidance on self-defence was not drafted with armed security guards in mind (paras 35-37); the…

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Kenya Invades Somalia Invoking the Right of Self-Defence

Vidan Hadzi-Vidanovic is a doctoral candidate at the University of Nottingham School of Law. At a press conference held in Nairobi on 15 October 2011, the Kenyan ministers of defence and interior announced that Kenyan security forces will engage in military operations against the Al-Shabaab militants in Somali territory. They invoked Article 51 of the UN Charter as a…

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The Bin Laden Killing: Clarifying the Normative Framework(s) Governing the ‘War on Terror’?

Alon Margalit is Research Associate, Hotung Programme for Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. The author wishes to thank the editors of EJIL:Talk! for their helpful comments on an earlier draft. It has been almost six months since Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan by a…

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Can Gaddafi invoke self-defence against NATO; have NATO leaders committed the crime of aggression?

Dr Gleider I. Hernández  is lecturer in law at the University of Durham; Thomas R. Liefländer is a PhD candidate at the University of Cologne. The recent events rapidly unfolding in Libya have raised a number of important questions for international lawyers. Among them, the precise delineation of the scope of Security Council authorisation to use force has given rise…

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Iraq Inquiry to Publish Submissions on International Law

The Chilcott Committee of Inquiry established by the UK government to consider the Iraq war has announced that it will publish the submissions it received analysing the legal arguments relied on by the UK for the use of force in Iraq. The announcement of its website reads as follows: In June 2010, Sir…

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