The Right of Self-Defence in Function of Keeping of World Peace and Security Cover Image

Право на сaмоодбрану у функцији очувања међународног мира и безбедности
The Right of Self-Defence in Function of Keeping of World Peace and Security

Author(s): Duško Dimitrijević
Subject(s): International Law, Recent History (1900 till today), Security and defense
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: The right to self-defense; prohibition of the use of force; The United Nations; The Security Council; preventive self-defense; protection of nationals abroad;

Summary/Abstract: The law on self-defence is the subject of the most fundamental disagreement in international law doctrine. A broader concept support a wide right of self-defence going beyond the right to respond to an armed attack on a state’s territory argue, first, that Article 51 of the UN Charter, through its reference to inherent right of self-defence, preserves the earlier customary international law right to self-defence. The Charter does not take away pre-existing rights of states without express provision and it presumes that at the time of its conclusion there was a wide customary law of self-defence allowing the protection of national and anticipatory self-defence. A narrow concept of self-defence as a restricted exception to the general prohibition of the use of force in a system of collective security of the UN argues that the meaning of Article 51 is clear. The right of self-defence arises only if an armed attack occurs. The limits imposed on self-defence in Article 51 would be meaningless if a wider customary law right to self-defence survives unfettered by these restrictions. Thus the term “inherent right of self-defence” in article 51 is not a dynamic term capable of shifting in meaning over time. The scope of the right was fixed in customary international law in 1945 and was apparently not susceptible of restriction in the light of subsequent state practice. An alternative approach invokes the breakdown of the UN security system in order to justify a wide right to selfdefence in the same way that some argue for a narrow interpretation of the prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4).

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 157-191
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Serbian