A Study on Nomenclature Debate on the ‘Use of Force,’ ‘Armed Attack’ and ‘Aggression’ as the Right to Self Defence

Publication Information

Journal Title: Commonwealth Law Review Journal
Author(s): Professor Sunil Deshta & Aastha Agnihotri
Published On: 08/05/2023
Volume: 9
First Page: 176
Last Page: 183
ISSN: 2581-3382
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

DOI: doi.org/10.55662/CLRJ.2023.906

Cite this Article

Professor Sunil Deshta & Aastha Agnihotri, A Study on Nomenclature Debate on the ‘Use of Force,’ ‘Armed Attack’ and ‘Aggression’ as the Right to Self Defence, Volume 9, Commonwealth Law Review Journal, 176-183, Published on 08/05/2023, doi.org/10.55662/CLRJ.2023.906 Available at https://clrj.thelawbrigade.com/article/a-study-on-nomenclature-debate-on-the-use-of-force-armed-attack-and-aggression-as-the-right-to-self-defence/


International Law on Armed Conflict lays down specific guidelines on the conduct of the States, the parties who are signatories and conform to the international comity. The paper highlights the implications of the preamble of the United Nations Charter, which was introduced by the comity of international players in the Second world war to mitigate any possibility of another war. The state signatories to the charter not only aspired to restore peace but also to bring about standard norms of the conduct of civilized states through this Charter. The present paper discusses the juxtaposition of specific terminologies, which are considered one of the most important provisions of the UN Charter. The paper attempts to study Article 2(4), which prohibits the use of force by the member states. However, the juxtaposition of Article 51 along with Chapter VIII of the Chapter is also discussed, giving regard to the peculiarity of the expression ‘armed attack and ‘aggression’ in light of states’ right to self-defence. The paper throws light upon the negotiating history of these Articles along with other important documents like UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 and the Statute of Rome of the International Criminal Court, which has defined and illustratively underlined the meaning and context of the term ‘aggression.’ The jurisprudential evolution is also brought astute by the pronouncement of the International Court of Justice. The paper deliberates upon the interpretational journey of the text and the context of the provisions of the Charter and other documents and attempts to read between the lines of these terminologies to understand the present-day relevance and meaning of these provisions akin to the ongoing international armed conflicts in the world.

Keywords: Aggression, Armed Attack, Use of Force, Self Defence

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