Use of Force

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The Position of British Parties on International Law Issues

As readers will know the UK will hold a general election on the 6th of May. This evening, as a part of a unprecedented three part series of debates, the leaders of the three main UK parties (Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) will hold a debate on foreign affairs. I thought it would be useful to highlight, brieftly, the position of those three parties on some issues of international law. The BBC website has a useful summary of the position of these parties on Europe and Foreign Affairs, which you can find here. However, some of the positions attributed to the parties by the BBC do not appear in their manifesto and don' t seem to be on the parties website either. Unlike the position in the United States in recent years, and with the exception of their position on relations with the European Union, there is no radical difference between the parties on questions of foreign affairs. I don't intend to say much on Europe, but it is worth pointing out, in brief, that the Conservatives hold the most sceptical position, including,…

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Law’s Labours Lost? Comment on Dino Kritsiotis, Close Encounters of a Sovereign Kind

Nikolas Stürchler is a Diplomatic Officer at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Directorate of International Law, and author of “The Threat of Force in International Law” (Cambridge University Press 2007). This text reflects the personal views of the author. It does not in any manner implicate the views of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The UN Charter is clear in demanding that all…

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Close Encounters of A Sovereign Kind

Dino Kritsiotis is Reader in Public International Law at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. He specializes in international law on the use of force and armed conflict, democracy, the United Nations, as well as the history and theory of international law. I am delighted to accept this invitation of Dapo Akande and Nehal Bhuta of…

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Self-Defense and Non-State Actors: Indeterminacy and the Jus ad Bellum

Self-defense in response to armed attacks by non-state actors is undoubtedly one of the most interesting - and controversial - issues in modern international law. It is of great practical relevance, as for instance, with the ongoing use of drones for the targeted killings of suspected terrorists (a question I've discussed here), and has attracted a great deal of…

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How and Why International Law Matters – Lessons from the UK’s Iraq Inquiry

Much of the debate in the UK regarding the Iraq war has centred on the legality of the use of force. There was much public debate on the issue in the lead up to the war in 2003 and sustained interest in it since. The appearance before the UK inquiry, this past week, of Tony Blair and of…

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