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The Security Council and the Unilateral Use of Force

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Chapter Summary

The collective use of force that Security Council practice with respect to the use of force does not evolve around the general prohibition contained in Article 2(4), but rather around the exceptions to the rule. Self-defence constitutes in Article 51 of the Charter a codified and generally accepted exception to the prohibition on the use of force that is invoked to perilous extent. Moreover, armed force is often the preferred method of responding to acts of terrorism. This chapter is devoted to the arguments put forward in the Security Council to justify a unilateral use of force by states based on these grounds, as well as its responses to such arguments and practices. The chapter discusses that self-defence is the much-preferred legal basis upon which states have relied with respect to their forceful reaction to terrorist act.

Keywords: armed force; legal basis; Security Council; self-defence; terrorist act; unilateral use of force



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