chapter  4
23 Pages

Using force in international affairs: the role of international law in contemporary international politics : Dominika Švarc

Questions about the role and relevance of international law in international politics are not new. They have, however, acquired new intensities and dimensions in our increasingly complex world, particularly when it comes to the use of force in international relations. Recent military interventions in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Southern Lebanon and Georgia have been accompanied by polarized debates about the role of law in decision making on the use of force. Authors such as Glennon3 and Arend4 have interpreted the lack of compliance (or less-than-perfect compliance) in these situations, especially in the case of the Iraq War in 2003, as evidence of impotence, irrelevance and even ‘death’ of international legal rules and institutions designed to regulate the use of force in international affairs. Similarly, Franck alluded to his long-held doubts about the viability of the UN Charter Article 2(4) prohibition on the use of force by bitterly remarking that on 19 March 2003, this quintessential principle of international legal order was merely

events, and in the use of legal arguments that accompanied them, a confirmation of the validity and weight of the international law on the use of force in the contemporary world.