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The Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2019$
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Giuliana Ziccardi Capaldo

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197513552

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197513552.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

The Dual Face of Sovereignty

The Dual Face of Sovereignty

Contradictions of Coercion in International Law

(p.874) (p.875) The Dual Face of Sovereignty
The Global Community Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence 2019

Hans Köchler

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the dialectic of power and law as exemplified in the ambiguous status of sovereignty, in particular in the Charter and practice of the United Nations Organization. One of the main challenges for the rule of law, whether domestic or international, is how to enforce legal norms without privileging the enforcers. This is where sovereignty has revealed its dual face in relations between states. Unlike domestic constitutional systems, the framework of norms of the United Nations lacks basic elements of a separation of powers, granting special status to states that were the most powerful upon the Organization’s foundation. The Charter’s principle of sovereign equality stands in direct contradiction to the norms regulating the use of coercive powers by the UN Security Council. Analyzing multilateral as well as unilateral sanctions regimes, the chapter explains how the antagonism between equality and “coercive privilege” has enabled major global players to evade scrutiny of their conduct, and proposes an amendment of the wording of Article 27(3) of the Charter.

Keywords:   coercion, collective security, monopoly of violence, power politics, rule of law, sanctions, sovereignty, United Nations, use of force

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