BofaxeCurrent Developments

In dubio contra bellum

Why the prohibition to use force will survive Turkey’s operation Peace Spring

What does Turkey’s operation “Peace Spring” against Kurdish militias in Northern Syria and the subsequent reactions of the international community mean for the prohibition on the use of force? “The right to self-defence may be regarded as broadened now,” some fear (e.g. here). But can the law regulating the use of force in international relations change so easily in the face of this intervention and careful reactions of the international …

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Current Developments

The US Armed Forces at the Mexican Border – Entering Legally Murky Territories?

The Trump-Administration is increasingly concerned about the security situation within Mexico. It views it as a threat to national security in light of its cross-boundary implications, such as the flow of irregular migrants and drugs into the US (for further details see Cooper). In reaction, President Trump has decided, among other measures such as building a wall (see Proclamation 9844, establishing a controversial ‘state of emergency’ to fund it), to …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

Keeping it clean (part I)

On the prohibition on the use of force in an ASAT context

On March 27th India successfully tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile against one of its own test satellites, creating a cloud of space debris which might collide with the International Space Station (see the post of last week here). Since ASAT weapons are ultimately designed to be used against satellites of other states, scenarios in which space debris is caused through international hostilities become more realistic. As the conflict in the Indo-Pakistani Kashmir …

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Gunneflo Book SymposiumSymposium

Gunneflo Book Symposium: Part 2

Ioannis Kalpouzos: On the Constitution of Global Asymmetric Warfare

It is worth repeating that the suggestion that drone technology constitutes a ‘paradigm change’ and a ‘break with the past’ in the international law of force is of limited heuristic value. Both the descriptive accuracy and normative implications of this position have been challenged. Notably, such stark peridiocization may have pernicious effects, especially in naturalizing the promise of a ‘new way of war’ associated with the distanced precision of drone …

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Current Developments

Exceptionality and context

Turkish intervention in Syria and the war on terror

The present Turkish military interventions in Syria and northern Iraq continue to raise the question of when States may use defensive force against armed non- State actors in other States. It is one of the ongoing and legally disputed actions of multiple, state and non-state, actors involved in the Syrian conflict. This post analyses the international legal implications of the ensuing military action by Turkey, especially the meaning of ius …

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DiscussionResponse

Justa piratica – or rather Hobbes State of Nature on the High Seas?

A response to the post by James Pattison James Pattison’s argument points at the heart of the debate of the international fight against Somali piracy: Have Somali pirates acted on the basis of greed or grievance, and does the respective answer to this question entail a differentiated response? Put differently: Does piracy due to grievance make it more just than piracy committed due to greed?

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DiscussionKick-off

On the Ethics of Piracy

Challenging the Orthodox View

The use of force against pirates is politically uncontroversial. As I outline in more detail in my recently published article in the Review of International Studies (on which this blog draws), on the ‘Orthodox View’ of piracy those using force against the pirates have right on their side. On the Orthodox View, the pirates are the aggressors who lack the authority to declare and to conduct force. They use force …

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Current Developments

Letting Go of Territorial Integrity

Getting Realism and Ideals Right on Ukraine

In my previous two posts (here and here), I looked at the problems of declaring Russia’s actions in Ukraine illegal – the dark side of law’s polycentrism. In this post, I consider the defective legal policy driving the Western response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine – the West’s failed fixation on territorial integrity – and consider a better response to Ukraine’s contested future: the return of a repressed idealism. Western …

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Current Developments

International Law’s Rule of Five

Russia, Ukraine, and the Dark Side of Polycentrism

In my previous post, I looked at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. In this post, I look at who’s to blame, and what’s to be done: more work for diplomats, less for lawyers. Bush’s Breakfast: Sow and Reap In domestic law, we have mechanisms for final decision. The storied US Supreme Court Justice …

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Current Developments

Polycentrism’s Playground

Ukraine and Russia’s Implausible Deniability

In this post, the first in a series on the Ukrainian crisis, I look at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. If Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t violated international law, it’s hard to see what would. Which means, unfortunately, that it’s hard to see what would. Obvious, Illegal After months of protests in Kiev …

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