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Journal Articles

International Law

Notre Dame Law School

Self-defense

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell Apr 2018

The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

The United States and Iran carried out armed reprisals in Syria during 2017 in the wake of chemical and terror attacks. Despite support for their actions even by countries such as Germany and France, retaliatory uses of force are clearly prohibited under international law. International law generally prohibits all use of armed force with narrow exceptions for self-defense, United Nations Security Council authorization, and consent of a government to participate in a civil war. Military force after an incident are reprisals, which have been expressly forbidden by the UN. Prior to the Trump administration, the U.S. consistently attempted to justify …


The Ban On The Bomb – And Bombing: Iran, The U.S., And The International Law Of Self-Defense, Mary Ellen O'Connell Jan 2007

The Ban On The Bomb – And Bombing: Iran, The U.S., And The International Law Of Self-Defense, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

Since the March 2003, U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, rumors have persisted of a United States plan to attack Iran. Some U.S. officials are apparently willing to contemplate the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Under international law, however, there is no right without Security Council authorization to use significant military force on the territory of another state to stop nuclear research. Knowing this, alternative arguments are being floated by those sympathetic to the plan to attack Iran. One such argument asserts that the U.S. could attack Iran on the basis of collective self-defense with Iraq …