About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

37 Brit. Y. B. Int'l L. 183 (1961)
The Use of Force in Self-Defense

handle is hein.journals/byrint37 and id is 189 raw text is: THE USE OF FORCE IN SELF-DEFENCE*
By IAN BROWNLIE, M.A., D.PHIL.
Lecturer in Law in the University of Nottingham
Introduction
THE meaning of the term 'self-defence' has remained the most vital issue
relating to the legal regulation of the use of force by States and the purpose
of the study presented here is to elucidate its meaning. In the course of the
inquiry particular emphasis will be placed on the practice of States and the
deliberations of organs of the League of Nations and-the United Nations
Organization. Furthermore, two considerations dictate that the study be
conducted on historical lines. First, a number of writers, and some Govern-
ments, present the law in terms of the customary law of the nineteenth
century and regard more recent developments as a superstructure to be
understood in the context of the classical law. In order to assess the validity
of this approach it is obviously necessary to look at the historical evidence.
Secondly, the growth of customary rules of international law is usually a
gradual phenomenon and may present a process of evolution in which
concepts in a substantially new rule can only be understood by referring to
an earlier state of things.
At the outset it will be convenient to explain the scope of the inquiry.
In the first place this is confined to consideration of the problem of the use
of force, in self-defence, and questions as to the status in the modern law
of other measures by States which have been characterized as self-defence
and which do not involve a use of force will not be pursued. The more
significant limit to the discussion, however, is the result of an intention to
give a coherent account of the evolution of the concept of self-defence, and
it will not be possible to give adequate consideration to the question whether
certain specialized rights based on the category of intervention have sur-
vived in the modern law. References to the latter category will necessarily
occur since the legal categories of self-defence and intervention are closely
linked in the relevant materials. The general position of the doctrine of
* © Dr. I. Brownlie, 1962. This article is based upon material contained in a work by the
present author to be published shortly by the Clarendon Press under the title International
Lazo and the Use of Force by States.
I The concepts of 'use of' or 'resort to' force, and of 'force' will receive some consideration
subsequently.
2 Thus the jamming of radio propaganda may be presented as self-defence against 'indirect
aggression' or 'subversion'. Cf. Draft Articles on Diplomatic Intercourse and Immunities,
Report of the International Law Commission, ioth session, 1958, commentary to Article 27;
American Journal of International Law, 53 (1959), P. 230 at p. 273.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most