Use of Force

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The African Union’s Statement on the Application of International Law to Cyberspace: An Assessment of the Principles of Territorial Sovereignty, Non-Intervention, and Non-Use of Force

A growing number of States have published statements examining the application of international law to cyberspace (for an overview see the Cyber Law Toolkit). On 29 January 2024, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council adopted the ‘Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Cyberspace’, and on 18 February 2024 the Assembly of the AU endorsed it. For an overview of the Common African Position (CAP) and its process of adoption see the post by Mohamed Helal, the AU’s Special Rapporteur on the CAP.

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Protecting commercial shipping with strikes into Yemen: Do attacks against merchant shipping trigger the right of self-defence?

On January 11, 2024, the US and UK, supported by a group of other States, commenced attacks against targets in Yemen. These attacks were preceded by a range of efforts to secure the sea lines of communication through the Red Sea against continued attacks by the Houthis from Yemen territory. A maritime coalition taskforce was set up…

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Does the ICJ have the Legal Authority to Pronounce itself on the Right to Self-Defence?

Jesse Lempel raises a profound issue in his recent post concerning the South African application for provisional measures against Israel in the Gaza genocide case. He asserts that the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, cannot ‘order provisional measures that impair a state’s right to self-defence.’ The argument appears to be…

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Why the ICJ Cannot Order Israel to Stop the War in Gaza as a Provisional Measure

Will the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order Israel to cease or curtail its military operations in Gaza as a provisional measure, as South Africa requested in its proceedings against Israel under the Genocide Convention? That is the “big question,” as Professor Mike Becker put it. And Israeli officials are reportedly concerned about the “real…

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Self-Defence as an Exception to the Principle of Non-Use of Force: Debunking the Myth

Introduction Marko Milanovic recently wrote a blog for EJIL: Talk! examining whether Israel can rely on the right of self-defence to justify its military action against Hamas. Marko’s post addresses many difficult questions relating to the law of self-defence and is a must read. In this post I want to focus on one of Marko’s…

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