The Problem of Imminence in an Uncertain World
M. Weller (ed) The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2014, Forthcoming
24 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2014 Last revised: 27 May 2014
Date Written: December 10, 2012
This paper sets out to analyse the meaning of imminence in the context of self-defence, how it is to be interpreted, what it might justify and what it might exclude, and whether it is in fact a criterion that can be upheld in light of modern challenges. In particular, it covers: • The development of the imminence requirement as a criteria for anticipatory self-defence. • The meaning of 'imminence', the links to immediacy and specificity. • Why do terrorism and WMD cause a challenge with regard to imminence, and what are the particular concerns with each of these? • What would a new notion of imminence actually mean? • Does imminence require certainty and can we ever be 'certain'? • Does the nature of the threat affect the risk analysis and approach to imminence?
Keywords: self-defence, use of force, ius ad bellum, imminence, anticipatory self-defence
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