The concept of Self-Defence against non-State Actors in International Law and the “Unwilling or Unable” Doctrine

Thick smoke from an airstrike by the US-led coalition rises in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Thick smoke, from an airstrike by the US-led coalition against ISIL militants, rises in Kobani, Syria, on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Author: Giacomo Toffanello

Over the last fifteen years, self-defence has been increasingly used by several governments as a justification to militarily intervene within the sovereignty of another state, especially to target non-state actors such as rebel groups or terrorist organisations; but how can these interventions cope with the prohibition of the use of force stated in the UN Charter? In this article Giacomo Toffanello, a Master’s Student in International Security and Law, will try to answer this question and to give a clearer picture of the legal framework that governs Self-Defence against Non-State Actors.

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Russia’s application of the Protection of Nationals Doctrine in Crimea in 2014

“Little Green Men” appearing in the streets of Simferopol, Crimea (Photo: AFP/GETTY)

Author: Michael R. Zieniewicz

Does Moscow have the right to intervene in other states in order to protect Russian speaking populations? Does the controversial doctrine of Protection of Nationals Abroad (PoN) really exist? In this article master’s student in International Security and Law, Michael R. Zieniewicz, examines whether international law leaves any space for the doctrine and whether the PoN has any place in the future of international relations.

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