Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trapp: Can Non-State Actors Mount an Armed Attack?

Kimberley Natasha Trapp (Univ. College London - Law) has posted Can Non-State Actors Mount an Armed Attack? (in Oxford Handbook on the Use of Force, M. Weller ed., forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Article 2(4) of the United Nations (Charter prohibits the use of force between States, but that prohibition does not “impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”. In its Charter incarnation, the prohibition of the use of force is situated in a strictly inter-State context, and does not speak to the phenomenon of uses of force by Non-State Actors (‘NSAs’). The question examined in this Chapter is whether the exception to that prohibition – the right to use force in self-defence – is nevertheless responsive to the war-making capacity of NSAs or whether it is limited to a snapshot of the right as it may have been conceptualised in the immediate aftermath of a global conflict between States. Otherwise put, is the definition of ‘armed attack’ in Article 51 of the UN Charter (and related customary international law) conditioned on the attacker being a State?