The Armed Activities Case and Non-State Actors in Self-Defence Law
Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 20, pp. 89-113, 2007
25 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2010 Last revised: 4 Aug 2010
Date Written: March 5, 2007
In the Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case the International Court of Justice has – for the first time in its history – found a state to have violated the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4) of the UN Charter. For the first time also, the Court has discussed the scope of self-defence directly under Article 51. In this article the focus lies on this aspect of a wide-ranging judgment. In finding that Uganda had violated the Charter, the Court kept to its jurisprudence constante; it did not bow to 'post-11 September' pressure to extend the logic of Article 51 to private actors. This article discusses the merits of the scholarly claims for both sides, but warns of drawing conclusions for the Court's future jurisprudence – the apparent unity among judges may have to do more with the case rather than the wider issue.
Keywords: Armed Activities case, attribution of conduct, International Court of Justice, non-state actors, self-defence
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