Use of Force

A few hours ago, in the early hours of 26 February, news started trickling in of an Indian Air Force strike in Pakistani territory. There have been ominous rumblings of some form of retaliation for a suicide attack carried out on 14 February 2019, in which 40 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed in Kashmir, and for which the Pakistani based terror...

The last time Venezuela faced the plight of war, almost 120 years ago, German and British gunboats deployed outside its ports, blockading them. After turbulent times, Venezuela had run out of money and was unable to pay its debts. In a classic display of pre-UN-Charter jus ad bellum, both the German Empire and the United Kingdom felt fully within their...

I tweeted a link to the presentation, but I thought I might post it here along with the accompanying slides. Here is the abstract: This presentation will argue that the ICC’s newly-adopted crime of aggression is useless, anachronistic, and yet beautiful. The crime is useless because the jurisdictional regime adopted by the Assembly of States Parties ensures that the Court will...

[Ralph Janik teaches international law at the University of Vienna, Faculty of Law and Webster Private University Vienna. He specializes in the interplay of international law and international relations. Twitter: @RalphJanik] The crisis in Venezuela could enter a new phase. Juan Guaidó recently flirted with the idea of a US intervention on his behalf when he refrained from ruling out to...

As I've noted before, the jurisdictional regime at the ICC for aggression is exceedingly narrow. In essence, the Court will have jurisdiction over an act of aggression only in the following situation: 1. The aggressor is a member of the Court, has ratified the aggression amendments, and has not opted out of the Court's jurisdiction. 2. The victim is a member of...

[Dr. Kubo Mačák is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.] I would like to start by thanking Opinio Juris for providing a platform for the discussion of internationalized armed conflicts in international law. In the title of my opening post, I paraphrased Carl von Clausewitz to suggest that these types of confrontations have become...

“Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law” by Kubo Mačák presents a detailed and insightful analysis of the tipping point at which non-international armed conflict (NIAC) may be ‘internationalized’ and considered to be an international armed conflict (IAC), with the focus in particular in relation to the status of combatants and the law of occupation. Far from esoteric, the topic is...

[Vito Todeschini is an Associate Legal Adviser at the International Commission of Jurists, Middle East and North Africa Programme.] On 30 October 2018, the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) finally adopted the long-awaited General Comment no. 36 (GC 36) on article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). GC 36, which replaces GC 6 (1982) and GC...

[Elvina Pothelet is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Geneva. Her research interests focus on the international law governing the use of force, the law of armed conflict and war crime law.] Kubo Mačák’s book is a rich and thought-provoking contribution to the scholarship on IHL applicability. The writing style and structure of the book make it a smooth and enjoyable read – to...

[Katharine Fortin is an Assistant Professor at the University of Utrecht's Netherlands Institute of Human Rights.] Kubo Mačák’s book starts with the observation that many conflicts today start as internal affairs in which a State confronts a domestic armed group, but often end up getting internationalized. Mačák sets out to unpack and analyse this phenomenon, by identifying at what point a...

[Tamás Hoffmann is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department for the Study of Domestic Implementation of International and European Law at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.] Kubo’s new monograph on internationalized armed conflicts is a truly remarkable book. It attempts to give a comprehensive yet concise analysis of the nagging legal issues inevitably arising during such conflicts when the line...