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The Primacy of International Law over Force

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Chapter Summary

In the course of the League of Nations era, the 1928 General Treaty for the Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy, a precursor of the U.N. Charter on the matter at issue, became of almost universal application, playing a considerable role throughout that era, and remaining still in force. The prohibition of war by the Briand-Kellogg Pact promptly caused an impact on both theory and practice of international law. The U.N. International Law Commission itself endorsed (in 1966) the understanding that the prohibition by the U.N. Charter of the use of force has the character of jus cogens, and expressed (in 1978) the view that a violation of the prohibition of aggression can result in an international crime. Such "implicit authorization" and "authorization ex post facto" of the use of force are manifest distortions of chapter VII of the U.N. Charter.

Keywords: Briand-Kellogg Pact; renunciation of war; U.N. International Law Commission



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