Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guiora: Anticipatory Self-Defence and International Law - A Re-Evaluation

Amos N. Guiora (University of Utah - Law) has posted Anticipatory Self-Defence and International Law - A Re-Evaluation (Journal of Conflict and Security Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Traditional state v. state war is largely a relic. How then does a nation-state protect itself - preemptively - against the unseen enemy? Existing international law - the Caroline Doctrine, UN Charter Article 51, Security Council Resolutions 1368 and 1373 - do not provide sufficiently clear guidelines regarding when a state may take preemptive or anticipatory action against a non-state actor. This article proposes rearticulating international law to allow a state to act earlier provided sufficient intelligence is available. After examining international law, this article proposes a process-based "strict-scrutiny" approach to self-defense. Under this approach, the executive will have to convince a court, based on relevant, reliable, viable, and corroborated intelligence, that preemptive action is appropriate. This process leads to a check on the power of the executive by placing a judicial check on preemptive action, consequently establishing objective legal criteria for operational counterterrorism.