The nations that drafted the UN Charter in 1945 clearly were more concerned about peace than about justice. As a result, the Charter prohibits all use of force by states except in the event of an armed attack or when authorised by the Security Council. This arrangement has only very imperfectly withstood the test of time and changing world conditions. In requiring states not to use force in self-defence until after they had become the object of an actual armed attack, the Charter failed to address a growing phenomenon of clandestine subversion and of instantaneous nuclear threats. Fortunately although the Charter is very hard to amend, the drafters did agree that it should be interpreted flexibly by the United Nations' principal political institutions. In this way the norms governing use of force in international affairs have been adapted to meet changing circumstances and new challenges. The book also relates these changes in law and practice to changing public values pertaining to the balance between maintaining peace and promoting justice.
Considering paradigmatic changes and current challenges in international law this collection of essays covers diverse areas such as law of the sea, human rights, international environmental law, international dispute settlement, peace and security, global governance and its relationship to domestic law.
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is intended to provide an effective framework for responding to crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. It is a response to the many conscious-shocking cases where atrocities - on the worst scale - have occurred even during the post 1945 period when the United Nations was built to save us all from the scourge of genocide. The R2P concept accords to sovereign states and international institutions a responsibility to assist peoples who are at risk - or experiencing - the worst atrocities. R2P maintains that collective action should be taken by members of the United Nations to prevent or halt such gross violations of basic human rights. This Handbook, containing contributions from leading theorists, and practitioners (including former foreign ministers and special advisors), examines the progress that has been made in the last 10 years; it also looks forward to likely developments in the next decade.
International law and armed conflict exist in a symbiotic relationship. In some cases, law shapes conflict proactively by imposing normative limits in advance of the appearance of proscribed conduct. Much more commonly, armed conflict either reveals lacunae in the law or demonstrates how law designed for yesterday’s wars falls short when applied to contemporary conflict. When that happens, international law reacts by allowing provisions to fall into desuetude, embracing new interpretations of existing prescriptions, or generating new norms through practice or codification. In the 21st Century, both international security and armed conflict are the subject of arguably unprecedented sea changes. As a result, claims that both the jus ad bellum and jus in bello are unwieldy and ill-fitting in the context of modern hostilities have surfaced prominently. Whether one agrees with such dire assessments, what has become clear is that armed conflict is increasingly exposing faultlines in the law governing the resort to force. The intent of this collection of essays in honour of Professor Yoram Dinstein on the occasion of his 70th birthday is to explore such faultlines, first by identifying them and then by assessing their consequences. In a sense, then, the essays, contributed by the top minds in the field, will serve to assist academics and practitioners to anticipate pressure on the law governing armed conflict and, to the extent possible, react accordingly. Paralleling Professor Dinstein’s classic works – War, Aggression, and Self-Defence and The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict ? the book addresses both ius ad bellum and ius in bello topics.