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Fighting at the Legal BoundariesControlling the Use of Force in Contemporary Conflict$
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Kenneth Watkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190457976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457976.001.0001

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Applying the Self-Defense Principles During Armed Conflict

Applying the Self-Defense Principles During Armed Conflict

(p.55) 3 Applying the Self-Defense Principles During Armed Conflict
Fighting at the Legal Boundaries

Kenneth Watkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the interface between the governing self-defense legal principles (i.e., necessity, proportionality, imminence, and immediacy) and humanitarian law in controlling the use of force during armed conflict. It is established that the boundary between the law governing State self-defense and that controlling operations is far more complex and nuanced than traditional theories appear to suggest. The former body of law is argued to have a strategic influence on the use of force by States, rather than exerting control over the actual conduct of operations at the tactical level.

Keywords:   State self-defense, use of force, humanitarian law, statehood, jurisdiction of states, State conflicts

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