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International Organizations and the Threat of Force - Concealing or Not Concealing Threats of Force - That is the Question

Anderberg, Cecilia (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
According to international treaty law as well as international customary law, threats of (armed) force are considered as one of the gravest violations of international law. Yet, threats of force frequently occur in international relations, often lacking condemnation by the international community. There are a number of reasons to why threats of force are sometimes passed by unconsidered by the international community. One reason is that a threat of force often is claimed by the threatening State to be a measure of self-defense, which, if it is true, would make the threat legal. To distinguish an offensive threat from a defensive threat can be difficult for the international community as it might not be aware of all the circumstances behind... (More)
According to international treaty law as well as international customary law, threats of (armed) force are considered as one of the gravest violations of international law. Yet, threats of force frequently occur in international relations, often lacking condemnation by the international community. There are a number of reasons to why threats of force are sometimes passed by unconsidered by the international community. One reason is that a threat of force often is claimed by the threatening State to be a measure of self-defense, which, if it is true, would make the threat legal. To distinguish an offensive threat from a defensive threat can be difficult for the international community as it might not be aware of all the circumstances behind the threat. Another reason is that threats of force might sometimes have the strange effect of creating instead of thwarting stability in international relations and if peace can be preserved by a threat of force, the international community has from time to time preferred to turn a blind eye to the threat and chosen not to condemn the violation that the threat constitutes. However, as the grave violation of international law a threat of force actually is, States cannot count on being able to evade State responsibility by, for instance, merely claiming the right to self-defense without considerable proof. A threat of force is an offence not only against the target State but the international community as a whole and the possible reparations for a violation of the prohibition of the threat of force can be harsh. In order to make actions that actually lack legal mandate appear legal, States tend to prefer acting collectively in international (regional) organizations, as it seems it is usually easier to defend an action based on a collective decision than an action based on a unilateral decision. Therefore, with the growing importance of international organizations as actors on the international arena, it has been considered necessary to set up detailed regulations concerning the responsibility of international organizations for international wrongful acts and the responsibility of individual States for the conduct of such organizations. States should not be able to set aside their international obligations and evade State responsibility by acting through an international organization. In regard to threats of force, this thesis shows that international organizations can fortunately not be used by States with an intention to conceal their threats of force by acting in the name of an international organization in order to evade State responsibility. (Less)
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author
Anderberg, Cecilia
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Folkrätt
language
English
id
1555636
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:17
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:17
@misc{1555636,
  abstract     = {According to international treaty law as well as international customary law, threats of (armed) force are considered as one of the gravest violations of international law. Yet, threats of force frequently occur in international relations, often lacking condemnation by the international community. There are a number of reasons to why threats of force are sometimes passed by unconsidered by the international community. One reason is that a threat of force often is claimed by the threatening State to be a measure of self-defense, which, if it is true, would make the threat legal. To distinguish an offensive threat from a defensive threat can be difficult for the international community as it might not be aware of all the circumstances behind the threat. Another reason is that threats of force might sometimes have the strange effect of creating instead of thwarting stability in international relations and if peace can be preserved by a threat of force, the international community has from time to time preferred to turn a blind eye to the threat and chosen not to condemn the violation that the threat constitutes. However, as the grave violation of international law a threat of force actually is, States cannot count on being able to evade State responsibility by, for instance, merely claiming the right to self-defense without considerable proof. A threat of force is an offence not only against the target State but the international community as a whole and the possible reparations for a violation of the prohibition of the threat of force can be harsh. In order to make actions that actually lack legal mandate appear legal, States tend to prefer acting collectively in international (regional) organizations, as it seems it is usually easier to defend an action based on a collective decision than an action based on a unilateral decision. Therefore, with the growing importance of international organizations as actors on the international arena, it has been considered necessary to set up detailed regulations concerning the responsibility of international organizations for international wrongful acts and the responsibility of individual States for the conduct of such organizations. States should not be able to set aside their international obligations and evade State responsibility by acting through an international organization. In regard to threats of force, this thesis shows that international organizations can fortunately not be used by States with an intention to conceal their threats of force by acting in the name of an international organization in order to evade State responsibility.},
  author       = {Anderberg, Cecilia},
  keyword      = {Folkrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {International Organizations and the Threat of Force - Concealing or Not Concealing Threats of Force - That is the Question},
  year         = {2008},
}