The Meaning of 'Force' and the Boundaries of the Jus Ad Bellum – Are 'Minimal' Uses of Force Excluded from UN Charter 2(4)?

American Journal of International Law, April 2014

85 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2014

See all articles by Tom Ruys

Tom Ruys

Ghent University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 6, 2014

Abstract

The idea that Article 2(4) UN Charter is subject to a gravity or 'de minimis' threshold, and that small-scale forcible acts remain outside its scope, appears to be gaining ground in recent years. This is illustrated by the finding of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia that Article 2(4) allegedly does not cover targeted killings of single individuals, forcible abductions of individual persons, or the interception of a single aircraft. The question arises whether the acceptance of a gravity threshold does not risk opening Pandora’s box by enabling States to rely on various 'grounds precluding wrongfulness' to justify small-scale forcible actions. Against this background, the aim of the present contribution is to take a fresh look at the notion of the ‘force’ and the conceptual difficulties surrounding it, and to shed further light on the way Article 2(4) UN Charter operates in different settings.

Suggested Citation

Ruys, Tom, The Meaning of 'Force' and the Boundaries of the Jus Ad Bellum – Are 'Minimal' Uses of Force Excluded from UN Charter 2(4)? (March 6, 2014). American Journal of International Law, April 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463760

Tom Ruys (Contact Author)

Ghent University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Universiteitstraat 4
Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
822
Abstract Views
2,075
rank
44,223
PlumX Metrics