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The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law edited by Weller, Marc (1st January 2015)

Part V Revival of Classical Concepts?, Ch.40 Retaliation and Reprisal

Shane Darcy

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

Subject(s):
UN Charter — Treaties, interpretation — Self-defence — Reprisals — Armed conflict, international — Armed conflict, non-international — Belligerents — Reparations — Aggression — International peace and security — Armed attack — Countermeasures — Arbitral tribunals — Opinio juris — Customary international law

This chapter focuses on the evolution of the international law on the use of force as it relates to the concepts of retaliation and reprisal, particularly since the adoption of the United Nations Charter in 1945. After defining the concepts of retaliation and reprisal as understood in international law, the chapter considers whether armed reprisals are contrary to the UN Charter, along with the debates surrounding the UN Security Council’s condemnation of retaliatory actions. It then examines claimed instances of state practice, as well as judicial and scholarly views on the lawfulness of such reprisals. Finally, it discusses arguments calling for the revival of reprisals or retaliation as permitted exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force.

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