1. Does the inherent right of self-defence (Art.51 UN Charter) permit a State to use force
against States or non-State actors even when they do not pose an immediate threat?
This question asks you to examine how States like the US have sought to avoid breaching the
prohibition against the use of force by widening their interpretation of the right to self-
defence. Answers to this question should look at the following:
a. Articles 2(4) and 51 UN Charter; `Self-defence’, `anticipatory self-defence’; pre-
emptive self-defence; Caroline test
b. Recommended sources:
ch.4 `Self-defence as a justification for war: the geo-political and war on
terror models’ in Chinkin and Kaldor, International Law and New Wars
ch.5 `The use of force against terrorism: a new war for a new century?’ in
Gray, International Law and the Use of Force
ch.31 `The problem of imminence in an uncertain world’ in Weller, The
Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law
Before beginning to write make sure you understand fully the question and what it is you are being asked to do.
✓ In your essay, be sure to define and explain any key concepts (e.g., `diplomatic recognition’ or `reservations’).
✓ Try to include references to legal sources, e.g., treaties, court decisions (international and domestic), the UN International Law Commission, or legal scholarship.
✓ Remember, this is an international law essay and so your paper must focus on analysing the nature of different international legal regimes and how these function!
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