Self-Defence Against Non-State Actors: Impulses from the Max Planck Trialogues on the Law of Peace and War
85 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2017 Last revised: 2 Apr 2017
Date Written: March 27, 2017
The legality of self-defence against non-state actors is currently one of the most contested issues of the jus contra bellum. How should we interpret state practice – has it already given rise, in law, to a broader concept of self-defence, or is the traditional state centred view still good law? Under which specific requirements should self-defence against non-state actors, if at all, be regarded as lawful and how can an abuse of an extended right to self-defence be prevented? The “Impulses from the Max Planck Trialogues on the Law of Peace and War” consist of short essays dealing with these questions.
The essays are grouped in four categories:
1) restrictivist positions upholding a state-centred approach towards self-defence;
2) expansive interpretations of the law, presenting arguments for the legality of self-defence against non-state actors;
3) conceptual alternatives to the current debate; and
4) a number of meta-questions.
Keywords: jus contra bellum, self-defence, non-state actors, unwilling/unable doctrine, conflict in Syria
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