John F. Murphy
Villanova University - School of Law
February 26, 2001
TRILATERAL PERPECTIVES ON INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ISSUES, Chi Carmondy, Yugi Iwasawa and Sylvia A. Rhodes, eds., Transnational Publishers, Forthcoming
The debate over the legality and morality of NATO's actions with respect to Kosovo has been fierce, and writings on this subject have been legion. Although the primary focus of this chapter is on the legal dimensions of the Kosovo crisis, it also explores moral and political considerations. The chapter sets forth the following propositions and attempts to defend them: (1) the use of force by NATO in Kosovo could have been avoided; (2) assuming for the sake of argument that it could not, the use of force actually employed in Kosovo should have been different from that which was employed; (3) however employed, NATO's use of force in Kosovo could not be justified under existing international law. It might have been justified as a moral matter but not as it was actually employed; (4) the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, which is most often, at least in the academic literature, advanced as a legal justification of the use of force in Kosovo, is not now and should not become part of international law; (5) rather, renewed efforts should be made to return to the UN Charter paradigm through member states fulfilling their obligations under Chapter VI to settle disputes peacefully, concluding article 43 agreements, and providing the Secretary-General with a small rapid deployment force. The chapter does not examine, except in passing, contentions that NATO's bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Kosovo violated international humanitarian law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 65Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 16, 2001
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