The Meaning of Article 2(4) in the U.N. Charter

Revised from Chapter 3 in International Law: Process and Prospect (Anthony D'Amato, 2d ed. 1995)

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 13-30

16 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2013  

Date Written: September 6, 2013

Abstract

The threatened ballistic missile attack upon Syria by the United States, in retaliation for the Syrian government’s use of chemical warfare against its own people, has elicited opinions from international lawyers and scholars on the question whether such an attack would violate international law. Invariably the legal source that is cited is Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. The language of Article 2(4), because it stands alone and is not tied to nor dependent upon any of the other provisions of the UN Charter, is perhaps the most important rule of international law in the modern era.

Keywords: United Nations, U.N. Charter Article 2(4), Syria, territorial integrity, political independence, Damascus, Bashar al-Assad, sarin, chemical weapons, civil war, rebellion

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K30, K33, O38, N95, N4, N45, N40

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, The Meaning of Article 2(4) in the U.N. Charter (September 6, 2013). Revised from Chapter 3 in International Law: Process and Prospect (Anthony D'Amato, 2d ed. 1995); Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 13-30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2321806

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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