Defending Nationals Abroad: Assessing the Lawfulness of Forcible Hostage Rescues

34 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2008

See all articles by Kristen Eichensehr

Kristen Eichensehr

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Date Written: June, 20 2008

Abstract

Hostage-taking occurs frequently around the world and receives universal condemnation. But opinion is sharply divided over the legality of forceful rescue missions by the hostages' national state. Using the examples of two Iranian hostage situations - the detention of U.S. embassy officials in 1979 and the capture of British military personnel in 2007 - this paper evaluates the legality of forcible rescue missions by analyzing the necessary triggers for the right to rescue and the limits placed on the right by the customary international law requirements of necessity, immediacy, and proportionality. The paper then examines the lawfulness of forcible rescue missions, offering criteria that should be analyzed ex ante to determine whether a contemplated rescue mission - legal or not - should be considered lawful.

Keywords: Hostage, Defense of Nationals, Right To Rescue, Iran

Suggested Citation

Eichensehr, Kristen, Defending Nationals Abroad: Assessing the Lawfulness of Forcible Hostage Rescues (June, 20 2008). Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1148799

Kristen Eichensehr (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
289
Abstract Views
1,112
rank
106,021
PlumX Metrics