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Tag Archive: Jus ad Bellum

The United Kingdom’s “Modern Law of Self-Defence”—Part I


On Wednesday, Jeremy Wright QC MP, the Attorney General of the United Kingdom, gave a speech intended to clarify his government’s understanding of the international law framework governing the use of armed force. The United Nations Charter recognizes the inherent right of States to use force in self-defense “if an armed attack occurs.” Importantly, the UK takes the view that States may use force in anticipatory self-defense to prevent imminent armed attacks before they occur.…   continue »

Category Mistake: There Is No Jus ad Bellum for Use of Force Against Non-State Actors

From South Asia to Europe and beyond, government lawyers have to inquire as to when a State is legally justified in resorting to military force against a non-State actor. What body of law do they apply in answering these queries? Unfortunately some discussions in this legal space risk applying inapplicable bodies of law due to conflation with the more familiar legal regime governing resort to force between States, and we hope in the following analysis to provide some clarity.…   continue »

Human Rights Law is the Legal Basis for Use of Force Against Non-State Armed Groups—But What Follows?

In recent weeks there have been two significant and related debates on Just Security about the justification for the use of force against non-state armed groups and the place of human rights in non-international armed conflict (NIAC). Both debates address aspects of a larger question that has remained unresolved throughout the years since 9/11: how should we understand the legal framework that defines and limits a state’s resort to military force  against an armed group that threatens its security or territorial integrity?…   continue »

The Newly Released National Security Framework Report: An Important Step Forward



On Tuesday, President Obama made the case in his final national security speech that staying true to American values is not a weakness, but the country’s greatest strength in the fight against terrorism. He argued that transparency and accountability serve American’s national security interests, including by allowing for a more informed public debate and serving as a potential check on unfettered executive power.…   continue »