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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Armed Attack

Karl Zemanek

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 December 2018

Subject(s):
Armed attack — Self-defence — Paramilitary groups — Weapons — Conduct of hostilities

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Art. 51 UN Charter makes an ‘armed attack’ the condition for the exercise of the right of self-defence . In the judgment on the merits of the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua Case (Nicaragua v United States of America) (‘ Nicaragua Case ’) the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’) declared, however, that ‘a definition of “armed attack” which, if found to exist, authorizes the exercise of the “inherent right” of self-defence, is not provided in the United Nations Charter, and is not part of treaty law’ ( Nicaragua Case para. 176)....
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