Accessibility navigation

Non-forcible measures and the law of self-defence

Buchan, R. (2023) Non-forcible measures and the law of self-defence. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 72 (1). pp. 1-33. ISSN 1471-6895

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only
· The Copyright of this document has not been checked yet. This may affect its availability.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0020589322000471


The right of self-defence is usually presented as an exception to the principle of non-use of force. Conventional wisdom therefore holds that the right of self-defence can only be relied on to justify those measures constituting a threat or use of force. This article rejects that claim. It argues that self-defence is a general right under international law and, as such, can be invoked to justify all measures necessary to repel an armed attack regardless of whether they are forcible or non-forcible in nature. To support this argument, this article examines the genesis of the right of self-defence under customary international law, the text of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, the structure of the United Nations Charter and State practice on Article 51.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:115160
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation