United Nations Counter-Proliferation Sanctions and International Law
Research Handbook on U.N. Sanctions and International Law, Larissa van den Herik, ed. (Edward Elgar Publishing, Forthcoming)
20 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 10, 2016
This chapter addresses the subject of the legal limitations that international law places on the imposition of coercive international economic and financial sanctions, with particular reference to sanctions with counter-proliferation aims — i.e., purposed in stopping the actual or suspected proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Economic sanctions, whether imposed multilaterally by the U.N. Security Council or unilaterally by states, have become an increasingly utilized tool of coercive policy, particularly by powerful states and international organizations against weaker, developing states. This makes the identification and clarification of existing and emerging rules of international law imposing limits upon the ability of states and international organizations to lawfully impose coercive economic sanctions, an important part of the development of a more mature and equitable international legal system. This chapter will focus on two main areas of customary international legal obligation, the sources of which impose limits on the application of coercive international economic sanctions by states and international organizations, including the U.N. Security Council. The first is the general international law principle of economic non-coercion, and the second is international human rights law.
Keywords: sanctions, U.N. security council, counter-proliferation
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