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Journal Articles

Notre Dame Law School

War

2007

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Preserving The Peace: The Continuing Ban On War Between States, Mary Ellen O'Connell Jan 2007

Preserving The Peace: The Continuing Ban On War Between States, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

The history of international law is, in large part, about the development of restraints on states' right to resort to force in dealing with external conflicts. Today, states may use force only in self-defense to an armed attack or with Security Council authorization. Even in these cases, states may use force only as a last resort, and then only if doing so will not disproportionately harm civilians, their property, or the natural environment. These rules restricting force are found in treaties (especially the United Nations Charter), customary international law, and the general principles of international law. In other words, the …