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  • Author: Dino Kritsiotis
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article considers the prominence that threats of force have had in international political life since the end of the Cold War, and how we tend to overlook these threats in favour of the actual uses of force. Security Council Resolution 678 of November 1990 is one such example. Emblematic of the rule of law and its New World Order, it is often invoked for the 'authorisation' it gave to Member States of the United Nations 'co-operating with the Government of Kuwait ... to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area' - but this provision was made contingent upon whether 'Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements [previous] resolutions'. We examine the range of circumstances in which threats of force have arisen and find that these go beyond the archetypal 'close encounter' between states - such as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the 'threats of force' directed against Iraq prior to Operation Desert Fox (1998) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). Making use of the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice from its Nuclear Weapons advisory opinion (1996), we advance the idea of a prohibition of the application of force, and consider the logistics of its operation in state practice; first, in the recent relations between the United States and Iran and, then, through a modern reprise of the facts of the Corfu Channel Case of April 1949. We allude to the importance of the legislative background and purpose behind this prohibition, constantly reflecting upon the intricacies of state relations in which this provision of the United Nations Charter seeks to make its mark.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait
  • Author: Philip Alston, Jason Morgan-Foster, William Abresch
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Since 2003, as part of its 'war on terror', the United States has taken the position that the UN Commission on Human Rights and its successor, the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the system of 'special procedures' reporting to both bodies, all lack the competence to examine abuses committed in the context of armed conflicts. The article examines the arguments put forward by the US in the specific context of the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The authors conclude that the consistent practice of the human rights organs for almost 25 years, often supported and until 2003 never opposed by the US, runs counter to the current US position. Acceptance of the US position would not only undermine efforts to hold the US accountable but would also have a major impact on the international system of accountability as a whole.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michel Bourbonni√®re, Ricky J. Lee
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Bush Administration of the United States recently released a revised National Space Policy. Although the revised National Space Policy can be interpreted as a step towards the weaponization of space, it does not necessarily weaponize space. It nonetheless brings to the forefront important legal issues concerning the basing of conventional weapons in space. The present international law matrix on the issue of space-based weapons is to be found in international space law, principally in the Outer Space Treaty, where certain prohibitions apply to nuclear weapons and to weapons of mass destruction. Space must also be used for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. Space objects must be registered in accordance with the Registration Convention. The UN collective security system and the customary right of self-defence govern the use of force or jus ad bellum. The means and methods through which self-defence is exercised are in turn governed by international humanitarian law. Should space be weaponized the basing of these weapons and their use will be subject not only to international space law but also to the UN Charter and to international humanitarian law. The interface between these legal regimes consequently gains in importance, possibly forcing a reinterpretation of certain space treaties along with a correction in state practice.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States