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10 Hous. J. Int'l L. 25 (1987-1988)
Terrorism and the Inherent Right of Self-Defense (A Call to Amend Article 51 of the United Nations Charter)

handle is hein.journals/hujil10 and id is 31 raw text is: TERRORISM AND THE INHERENT RIGHT OF
Mark B. Baker*
Some forty years ago, in a war ravaged world, a group of nations
gathered together to discuss the uncertain future of our planet. In so
doing they began the process which was to lead to the formation of the
United Nations.
Among the formidable tasks facing the group of nations was that of
drafting an operative document stating the purposes of the organization,
its structure and the basic rights and responsibilities of member states.
Like all legislation, the resulting United Nations Charter was a product
of its time and reflected the cumulative experience of its drafters. Unfor-
tunately, the framers did not fully anticipate the existence, tenacity and
technology of modem day terrorism. As a result, self-defense as defined
in article 51 of the Charter has become substantially ineffective as a
method of recourse against such violence. This article will explore the
history of self-defense as it relates to article 51 and analyze its use in light
of modem day terrorism.
Terrorist acts are becoming an almost everyday occurrence. As a
result, people have become desensitized to many acts which were once
thought abhorrent, causing even the hijacking of a commercial aircraft or
the bombing of a public place to fight for media attention unless accom-
panied by loss of life. Yet even the smallest act of terrorism is abomina-
ble. The arbitrariness of the terrorists targets and the ruthlessness of
their methods make these attacks a shockingly evil phenomenon. Burton
M. Leiser, in his essay Enemies of Mankind, describes terrorism as:
designed to create an atmosphere of despair or fear, and shake
the faith of citizens in their government. Terrorists carry out
* Associate Professor, International Business Law; University of Texas at Austin, BBA
1968, Miami; J.D. 1974 Southern Methodist University.

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