Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Self-Defence

Christopher Greenwood

Subject(s):
Self-defence — Armed attack — Collective security — Necessity — Conduct of hostilities — Military necessity

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

1 The right of a State to use force in self-defence is long-established in customary international law . Nevertheless, while it can be traced back at least as far as the correspondence between the United Kingdom and United States governments regarding the Caroline incident in 1837 ( Caroline, The ), its importance in the 19th century was limited by the fact that international law then recognized a general right of resort to war, so that self-defence was significant (at least in legal, as opposed to political, terms) only with regard to lesser instances of the use...
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.