Document Type

Article

Comments

Article 2(4): The Use of Force in Contemporary International Law, Proceedings of the American Society of International Law 74 (1984)

Abstract

"It always lies within the power of a state," the American doctrinalist Charles Cheney Hyde wrote in 1922, even after the formation of the League of Nations, "... to gain political or other advantages over another, not merely by the employment of force, but also by direct recourse to war." Under traditional international law, war was a licit instrument both for vindicating international rights and for changing them. Under this regime, each state enjoyed a jus ad bellum, a right to resort, at its discretion, to war or lesser forms of coercion. Other doctrines, for example, about acquisition of territory by virtue of occupation and effective control, were consistent with this authoritative acknowledgment of the legitimate unilateral and discretionary use of force.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1984

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