Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Comments

No Man's Land: International Legal Regulation of Coercive Responses to Protracted and Low Level Conflict, 11 Houston Journal of International Law 317 (1989)

Abstract

I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this scholarly audience about the international legal regulation of responses to protracted and low-level conflict emanating from other states. The subject involves the question of the right and the contingencies to use force unilaterally in contemporary international politics: the so-calledjus ad bellum, which is to be distinguished from the actual law of armed conflict, thejus in bello. Professor Halberstam has inventoried a large number of instances in which Israel claimed this right. Some of them fit easily into the customary law framework and would be lawful under traditional tests of the precipitating 'event and the necessity and proportionality of the response, even allowing for the inclarity of some of the traditional terms. Other cases, certainly the Lebanese invasion of 1982, would not pass the traditional test. I do not intend to focus only on those cases since I believe the problem goes far beyond the Middle East. Even after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is finally treated as political, and not military, and is resolved in an equitable fashion, the problem we are considering here will continue because it is deeply rooted in the divergence of world-view and value and the divergence of effective power and formal authority that characterize contemporary international politics.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1989

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