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The relationship between national, unit and personal self-defence in international law: bridging the disconnect

O'Meara, CJ; (2017) The relationship between national, unit and personal self-defence in international law: bridging the disconnect. Journal on the Use of Force and International Law , 4 (2) pp. 273-311. 10.1080/20531702.2017.1313525. Green open access

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Abstract

Academic and judicial consideration of the right of self-defence in international law has focused on the right as it applies to states (national self-defence). This approach represents only part of the picture, however. Little attention has been paid to how the right of national self-defence relates to, and interacts with, the right of military personnel and their units to defend themselves. Yet, this relationship is crucial to determine when and how a state may defend itself. This article highlights fundamental problems associated with the focus on national self-defence, which results in the fragmentation of international law. It offers some unified thinking regarding issues of attribution, the gravity and timing of attacks, the requirements of necessity and proportionality and armed attacks by non-state actors. The aim is to bridge the current disconnect.

Type: Article
Title: The relationship between national, unit and personal self-defence in international law: bridging the disconnect
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/20531702.2017.1313525
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20531702.2017.1313525
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: use of force, self-defence, jus ad bellum, national self-defence, unit self-defence
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553241
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