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Part I Introduction, Ch.3 The Limitations of Traditional Rules and Institutions Relating to the Use of Force

Michael J. Glennon

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

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 October 2023

Weapons of mass destruction — Weapons, nuclear — International peace and security — Customary international law — Pacta sunt servanda — UN Charter — Travaux préparatoires — Equality before the law

This chapter examines the limitations of traditional rules and institutions with respect to the use of force. It considers international cooperation in managing the use of force, and whether and when the use of force is justified, within the framework of the jus ad bellum. The chapter discusses three factors that help to explain why the rules and institutions that regulate the use of force have not been effective. First is the weakness of international law’s secondary rules concerning consent, obligation, and causation. Second is the weaknesses in the UN Charter rules due to deficiencies in the wording of the rules themselves, especially with regard to pre-emptive self-defence. Third is the weakness in compliance resulting from the UN Security Council’s dysfunctionality, in part due to the UN’s professed reliance upon the principle of sovereign equality.

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