The Use of Force as a Plea of Necessity

American Journal of International Law Unbound, Vol. 111 (2017), 301

5 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2018

See all articles by Jure Vidmar

Jure Vidmar

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 10, 2018

Abstract

In recent practice, states have claimed authority to act forcibly in two circumstances that go beyond the Charter-mandated justifications: against non-state actors conducting attacks from within another state, and in cases in which a foreign state is engaged in atrocities against its own citizens. This essay explains why, at best, states can only try to excuse these actions after the fact. It demonstrates that the law on the use of force has accommodated certain pleas of necessity that have often been mistakenly categorized as self-defense. Necessity as a self-standing defense is not a justification; it is conceptualized as an excuse under the law of state responsibility.

Keywords: use of force, self-defense, necessity, unwilling or unable, state responsibility

Suggested Citation

Vidmar, Jure, The Use of Force as a Plea of Necessity (April 10, 2018). American Journal of International Law Unbound, Vol. 111 (2017), 301. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160273

Jure Vidmar (Contact Author)

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200
Netherlands

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