What is International Legal Defense

Humanity has always recognized that individuals should have the right to defend themselves from violence. In international law it’s given that the most fundamental aim of the Charter and the UN organization created by the Charter is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. This has been seen many times throughout history as in the case of The Caroline case*. It stands to reason that any right to use force as an exception to the general prohibition on resort to force would be open to interpretation. The main goal is to allow a state to act in unilateral or collective self-defense only “if an armed attack occurs, however it can be seen throughout history that this can and has been flexible according to the situation. This Charter falls into one of two categories: scholarship, judicial decisions, and government policies that support the plain terms,and scholarship and government policies that advocate expanding the right to use force beyond its provisions. These two categories have various labels but are most commonly referred to as the “strict” interpretations versus the “broad” interpretations. Some refer to the groups as the “restrictivists” versus the “antirestrictivists.” The divergence of views can be explained to some extent by the differing assessments they make about the resort to military force. The UN Charter was drafted at the end of World War II, when commitment to ending the use of force was high. Fifty years later, perhaps frustrated by the lack of success with other peaceful means, writers in militarily powerful states urged relaxing of the rules against force to respond to things like terrorism, weapons programs, and computer network attacks. These arguments have been met by writers newly interested in whether the use of force can be justified under the principles of necessity. Rules beyond the UN Charter but equally important in the long history of normative thinking on killing in self-defense. An example in which a normal person might understand would be in the case of one of my  clients. They had heard that someone had the intent to attack them and cause them physical harm, so they got a jump on their soon to be attacker and disabled them with a baseball bat. This ended the threat, but unfortunately also landed them in jail. The US government heard from sources that a terrorist attack was going to take place on American soil, and attacked before the terrorists had a chance to take action. You can see  as a result that the situation can determine whether self defense is “right or wrong”. On and individual basis you can not defend yourself against violence until the attack has already taken place but in groups you have the right to defend yourself against and attack from another group. You can see how this would cause a bit of a headache.

 

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