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The Use of Force: Sweden, the Jus ad Bellum and the European Security and Defence Policy

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This article explores the development of a doctrine of humanitarian intervention and responsibility to protect among Swedish policy-makers. The doctrine may or may not include an authorization by the United Nations (UN) Security Council as a necessary component. The article investigates how the new doctrine fits with the Swedish constitutional regulation of the use of force and how the evolution of the new Swedish view of the jus ad bellum interacts with the regulation of the use of force in the European Union (EU). The responsibility to protect answers to many of the concerns voiced in Parliament; the doctrine caters both to those who wish a basis for action independent of the Security Council and to those who are faithful to the UN. The parliamentary debates as well as government documents point to a developing political consensus that unilateral humanitarian intervention may be justified under certain exceptional circumstances. The argument that decisions should be made by the Security Council is difficult to maintain in the face of grave human suffering which would otherwise warrant action by the international community. The increasing ability and willingness to intervene internationally in Sweden and the EU leads to a further question, namely: For what will the force be used?

Affiliations: 1: Professor, International Law, Faculty of Law, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


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