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Consent and the use of force: an examination of 'intervention by invitation’ as a basis for US drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen

Byrne, M. (2016) Consent and the use of force: an examination of 'intervention by invitation’ as a basis for US drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, 3 (1). pp. 97-125. ISSN 2053-1710

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/20531702.2015.1135658

Abstract/Summary

Drone strikes are becoming a key feature of the United States’ global military response to nonstate actors, and it has been widely adduced that these strikes have been carried out with the consent of the host states in which such non-state actors reside. This article examines the degree to which assertions of consent (or ‘intervention by invitation’), provided as a justification for drone strikes by the United States in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, can be said to accord with international law. First the article provides a broad sketch of the presence of consent in international law. It then analyses in detail the individual elements of consent as provided by Article 20 of the International Law Commission Draft Articles of State Responsibility. These require that consent should be ‘valid’, given by the legitimate government and expressed by an official empowered to do so. These elements will be dealt with individually, and each in turn will be applied to the cases of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Finally, the article will examine the breadth of the exculpatory power of consent, and the extent to which it can preclude the wrongfulness of acts carried out in contravention of international law other than the prohibition of the use of force under Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:53209
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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