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Notre Dame Law School

United Nations Charter

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The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell Jan 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, Maria Alevras-Chenl Jan 2007

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

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 …


Regulating The Use Of Force In The 21st Century: The Continuing Importance Of State Autonomy, Mary Ellen O'Connell Jan 1997

Regulating The Use Of Force In The 21st Century: The Continuing Importance Of State Autonomy, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

The most important, and certainly the most ambitious, modification of international law in this century has been the outlawing of the use of force to settle international disputes. The definitive prohibition on the use of force came with the adoption of the United Nations Charter and, in particular, Charter article 2(4).

For a short while, from 1991 until 1994, it appeared that a majority of Security Council members had re-interpreted the Charter's order of priorities. To some, it seemed that the Council had placed such values as human rights, self-determination, and even democracy above the value of peace through respect …