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2 J. on Use Force & Int'l L. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/jufoint2 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, 2015                           Routledge
Vol. 2, No. 1, 1-2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20531702.2015.1042280




                                   INTRODUCTION

               Journal   on  the Use   of Force   and  International Law




It is with great pleasure that we introduce the first issue of the second volume of the Journal on the
Use  ofForce and International Law. As ever, legal questions regarding both threats and uses of
force can be  witnessed within the international community.  The  crisis continues in eastern
Ukraine, despite a ceasefire agreement being reached in Minsk in February 2015, and forcible
responses against Islamic State have continued apace within Iraq and Syria, with Egypt broaden-
ing the geographical scope of the response to Libyan territory. While the facts on the ground make
for disturbing reading, the ways in which some states have justified their actions can also leave a
slightly sour taste in one's mouth. While understandable from some perspectives, the use of puni-
tive language by Jordan in responding to the gruesome killing by Islamic State of one of its mili-
tary pilots whose aircraft had been shot down over Syria raises questions over whether, and, if so,
how, the distinction exists between unlawful reprisals and self-defence. Or does the jus ad hellum
ultimately have anything to say about this incident, given that it is entirely plausible that Jordan
was  engaged in a non-international armed conflict with Islamic State?
    Volume  2(1) begins with an editorial comment by Tom Ruys, who engages with, and responds
to, the article by Agatha Verdebout in volume 1(2) of the journal. Following on from this, Olivier
Corten makes  an important a contribution to the debate regarding the legal issues raised by the
Ukrainian crisis. In this piece, as opposed to addressing issues of whether the rules and norms
were violated, Corten asks questions as to if and how the international rules governing the use
of force have been impacted upon  as a result of the actions that have taken place in the crisis.
    Moving  on  to another issue of particular topical relevance, Jennifer Trahan exposes and
explores  the 'grey area' between   Security Council  authorised humanitarian  interventions
(which would  not constitute a crime of aggression), and patently unlawful unilateral humanitarian
intervention actions (which may do). She argues that many international uses of force to protect
human  rights would fall into this 'grey area' and, as such, would not qualify as criminal acts of
aggression; while humanitarian intervention has received considerable attention in the academic
literature, the connections of such actions with aggression as set out in the Rome Statute have not
been thoroughly  explored.
    The third piece in this issue, by Raphael van Steenberghe, address a perennial question for
lawyers interested in the jus ad hellum, namely how one  assesses and evaluates state practice
in the context of the modification and  evolution of the law  governing  self-defence. In his
article, van Steenberghe expertly clarifies this methodological debate. In another piece that
aims to elucidate a controversial issue, James A Green closes the articles section of the issue
by exploring and illuminating the ratione temporis elements of the right of self-defence.
    A highly valued regular feature of the JUFIL is its Digest of State Practice. Three recent
instances of state practice are in particular responsible for the significant length of this issue's
digest: the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and the indications of Russian involvement in the
conflict; the US-led military coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; and Israel's


© 2015 Taylor & Francis

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