A Social Justice Theory of Self-Defense at the World Court
9 Loyola University Chicago International Law Review 25-44
20 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 15, 2012
This article offers a theory of social justice based on the work of John Rawls that helps to explain use of force or jus ad bellum jurisprudence at the World Court. More precisely, the theory provides a prism for understanding the interpretation of Article 2(4) and Article 51 of the U.N. Charter in cases before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The judgments and opinions of the ICJ offer an empirical basis for proposing that social justice rationale is a key driver of the Court’s major decisions on analyzing questions of jus ad bellum in the law of armed conflict. Social justice is derived from critical theory and pragmatism, and the term is used here to mean the use of plenary or administrative power (or in the context of international relations, transnational, or global authority) to achieve equal or at least equitable distribution of scarce resources among many peoples or nations.
Keywords: Law of war, law of armed conflict, jus ad vellum, John Rawls, Social Justice, international law, peace, world justice, world court, international court of justice, Hague
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