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Bevisfrågor och staters rätt till självförsvar

Andersson, Emma LU (2020) JURM02 20201
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Staters rätt till självförsvar är ett undantag till det generella våldsförbudet och utgör ett såväl centralt som flitigt omskrivet område inom folkrätten. Regleringen för rätten kan påstås vara relativt enkel att återge så som den uttrycks i art. 51 av FN-stadgan och i ljuset av den internationella sedvanerätten. Rätten till självförsvar är däremot desto svårare att tillämpa i praktiken och en stat kommer enbart anses ha agerat rätteligen i självförsvar om rekvisiten för bestämmelsen är uppfyllda. Det rekvisit som utlöser rätten till självförsvar är att staten ska ha blivit utsatt för ett väpnat angrepp men dess därpå följande själv-försvarshandling måste även leva upp till kriterierna om nödvändighet och proportionalitet. Till följd av... (More)
Staters rätt till självförsvar är ett undantag till det generella våldsförbudet och utgör ett såväl centralt som flitigt omskrivet område inom folkrätten. Regleringen för rätten kan påstås vara relativt enkel att återge så som den uttrycks i art. 51 av FN-stadgan och i ljuset av den internationella sedvanerätten. Rätten till självförsvar är däremot desto svårare att tillämpa i praktiken och en stat kommer enbart anses ha agerat rätteligen i självförsvar om rekvisiten för bestämmelsen är uppfyllda. Det rekvisit som utlöser rätten till självförsvar är att staten ska ha blivit utsatt för ett väpnat angrepp men dess därpå följande själv-försvarshandling måste även leva upp till kriterierna om nödvändighet och proportionalitet. Till följd av att man tolkat räckvidden av rätten till självförsvar och i ljuset av modern krigföring finns det anledning att även acceptera existensen av ett så kallat anticipatoriskt självförsvar.

En stat kan emellertid bli ifrågasatt för sitt agerande och huruvida självförsvarsrätten verkligen förelåg i det aktuella fallet. Detta kan ske av världssamfundet i form av exempelvis debatter inom FN:s Säkerhetsråd men statens agerande kan även bli föremål för prövning i den Internationella domstolen. Oavsett kommer staten förväntas presentera bevisning som stödjer dess påstå-ende om att rätten till självförsvar förelåg. Detta föder frågor om bevisning relaterad till bedömningen av staters utövande av självförsvarsrätten vilket i sin tur föder både syftet och frågeställningarna till denna uppsats. Vilka bevis-frågor och bevisnormer som aktualiseras inom ramen för sådana bedömningar är samtidigt underbeforskade frågor och syftet med uppsatsen är därför att klargöra vilka bevisnormer som är tillämpliga vid en bedömning av en stats agerande i ljuset av artikel 51 i FN-stadgan och den rätt till självförsvar som följer av internationell sedvanerätt.

Utifrån syftet har jag snävat in på mina frågor i frågeställningen. Den första frågan lyder: hur behandlar den Internationella domstolen bevisfrågor inom ramen för rätten till självförsvar? Fokus ligger här på den Internationella dom-stolen eftersom den är det främsta forumet för bedömningar av rätten till själv-försvar och har bidragit med ett särskilt avgörande i fallet Oil Platforms. Att analysera fallet Oil Platforms utgör en del av min metod eftersom det är känt som ett avgörande som i största mån hängde på bevisfrågor och tydligt belyste hur domstolen behandlar dessa frågor vid en bedömning av en stats åberopande av rätten till självförsvar. Ett av de främsta resultaten ur analysen av Oil Platforms-avgörandet är att det går att bekräfta att domstolens generella bevisbörderegel ”onus probandi actori incumbit” är den norm som appliceras vid bedömningen av en stats agerande i självförsvar. Det är alltså den stat som påstår ett faktum till stöd för sitt anspråk som också har bördan att bevisa att detta faktum föreligger. Vidare visade det sig att domstolen är fri att formulera vilket beviskrav den kommer beakta i fallet den har för handen men i Oil Platforms uttalades aldrig något sådant. Domstolen kritiserades för detta men vad som emellertid går att utröna är att beviskravet ställs högt eller mycket högt och att det krävs stark bevisning som inte väcker tvivel hos domstolen.

Min andra fråga i frågeställningen lyder: vilket är bevistemat vid bedömningen av en stats agerande i självförsvar oavsett om denna sker av den Internationella domstolen eller utanför, av andra aktörer inom folkrätten? I det fall det går att fastställa ett bevistema: hur svårt är det för staten att styrka bevistemat? Utifrån Oil Platforms kan man så gott som konstatera att bevistemat för rätten till självförsvar är just statens påstående om att ha en rätt till självförsvar men att detta påstående även inkluderar påståendet om att ha utsatts för ett väpnat angrepp varpå det var nödvändigt att vidta en självförsvarshandling och att denna självförsvarshandling också var proportionerlig.

Bevistemat framgick inte lika tydligt ur de fallstudier jag genomfört som en del av min metod. De kunde till viss mån belysa vissa bevisfrågor men präglas av att de inte varit föremål för domstolsprövning. Vad fallen i studierna emellertid visar tydligast är de praktiska omständigheter som kan påverka svårigheten i att styrka bevistemat för en stat som hävdar sin rätt till självförsvar. Det är nämligen inte bara beviskravet som gör att det krävs mycket för att kunna stärka statens påstående om att rätten till självförsvar förelåg, utan även praktiska omständigheter som i vilken situation beslutet om att agera i självförsvar tas eller att stater är ovilliga att presentera bevisning med rädslan att det kan undergräva deras underrättelsesystem.

Sammanfattningsvis är det troligtvis det faktum att rätten till självförsvar är en så central bestämmelse i kombination med att den innebär ett avsteg från hörn-stenen i hela folkrätten – våldsförbudet – som gör att det krävs mycket av en stat för att med framgång visa att rätten förelegat. (Less)
Abstract
The right of states to self-defense is an exception to the general prohibition of the use of force and constitutes a central as well as a frequently debated subject in international law. The regulation of the right can be said to be relatively simple to pronounce as expressed in Art. 51 of the UN Charter and in the light of international customary law. The right of states to self-defense is however more difficult to apply in practice and a state will only be considered to have acted lawfully in self-defense if the requisites for the provision are met. The prop that triggers the right to self-defense is that the state must have been subjected to an armed attack, but its subsequent act in self-defense must also meet the criteria of necessity... (More)
The right of states to self-defense is an exception to the general prohibition of the use of force and constitutes a central as well as a frequently debated subject in international law. The regulation of the right can be said to be relatively simple to pronounce as expressed in Art. 51 of the UN Charter and in the light of international customary law. The right of states to self-defense is however more difficult to apply in practice and a state will only be considered to have acted lawfully in self-defense if the requisites for the provision are met. The prop that triggers the right to self-defense is that the state must have been subjected to an armed attack, but its subsequent act in self-defense must also meet the criteria of necessity and proportionality. As a result of having interpreted the scope of the right to self-defense and in the light of modern warfare, there is reason to also accept the existence of a so-called anticipatory self-defense.

A state may however be questioned for its actions and whether the right of self-defense really existed in the present case. This questioning can be done by the international community in the form of, for example, debates within the UN Security Council, but the state's actions may also be subject to review in the International Court of Justice. Regardless, the state is expected to present evidence supporting its assertion that the right to self-defense existed. This raises questions of evidence related to the assessment of states' exercise of the right of self-defense, which in turn gives rise to both the purpose and the is-sues of this paper. The questions of what evidential issues and norms that are raised in the context of such assessments are poorly researched questions, and the purpose of the thesis is therefore to clarify which norms of evidence are applicable when assessing a state's conduct in the light of Article 51 of the UN Charter and the right to self-defense arising from international customary law.

Based on the purpose of my thesis, the questions at issue were formed. The first question is: how does the International Court handle evidence in the con-text of the right to self-defense? The focus here is on the International Court of Justice as it is the foremost forum for assessing the right to self-defense and has made a special decision in the case called Oil Platforms. Analyzing the Oil Platforms case is part of my method because it is known as a decision that largely depended on evidential factors and clearly illustrated how the court addresses these issues in assessing a state's invocation of the right to self-defense. One of the main results of the analysis of the Oil Platforms case is that it can be confirmed that the court's general principle of the burden of proof onus probandi actori incumbit is the norm that is applied when assessing a state's actions in self-defense. Thus, it is for the state that alleges a fact in support of its claim to prove the existence of that fact. Furthermore, it was found that the court is free to formulate what standard of proof it will consider in the present case, but in Oil Platforms no such statement was ever made. The Court was criticized for this, but what can be found, however, is that the standard of proof is set high or very high and that strong evidence is required that does not raise doubt with the Court.

The second questions at issue is: what is the theme of evidence when assessing a state's conduct in self-defense, whether it is done by the International Court of Justice or by other actors in international law? If it is possible to establish a theme of evidence: how difficult is it for the state to prove the theme of evidence? On the basis of the Oil Platforms case, one can almost conclude that the theme of evidence of the right to self-defense is precisely the state's claim to have a right to self-defense, but that this statement also includes the claim to have been subjected to an armed attack, whereby it was necessary to act in self-defense and that this self-defense act was also proportionate.

The theme of evidence wasn’t as apparent from the case studies I conducted as part of my method. They could to some extent shed light on some evidential issues but are characterized by not being subject to judicial review. What the cases in the studies show most clearly, however, are the practical circumstances that can affect the difficulty of probating the theme of evidence of a state that claims its right to self-defense. It is not only the standard of proof that requires much to strengthen the state's assertion that the right to self-defense existed, but also practical circumstances such as the situation in which the decision to act in self-defense is taken or that states are unwilling to pre-sent evidence with fear that it may undermine their intelligence systems.

In summary, it is probably the fact that the right to self-defense is such a central provision, combined with it being a departure from the cornerstone of international law - the prohibition of violence - which requires a lot from the state to successfully demonstrate that it had the right to act in self-defense. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Andersson, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Issues of evidence and states' right of self-defense
course
JURM02 20201
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
folkrätt, public international law, rätten till självförsvar, art. 51 FN-stadgan, bevisfrågor, bevisnormer, Oil Platforms, bevistema, bevisbörda, beviskrav
language
Swedish
id
9010767
date added to LUP
2020-06-15 12:18:41
date last changed
2020-06-15 12:18:41
@misc{9010767,
  abstract     = {The right of states to self-defense is an exception to the general prohibition of the use of force and constitutes a central as well as a frequently debated subject in international law. The regulation of the right can be said to be relatively simple to pronounce as expressed in Art. 51 of the UN Charter and in the light of international customary law. The right of states to self-defense is however more difficult to apply in practice and a state will only be considered to have acted lawfully in self-defense if the requisites for the provision are met. The prop that triggers the right to self-defense is that the state must have been subjected to an armed attack, but its subsequent act in self-defense must also meet the criteria of necessity and proportionality. As a result of having interpreted the scope of the right to self-defense and in the light of modern warfare, there is reason to also accept the existence of a so-called anticipatory self-defense.

A state may however be questioned for its actions and whether the right of self-defense really existed in the present case. This questioning can be done by the international community in the form of, for example, debates within the UN Security Council, but the state's actions may also be subject to review in the International Court of Justice. Regardless, the state is expected to present evidence supporting its assertion that the right to self-defense existed. This raises questions of evidence related to the assessment of states' exercise of the right of self-defense, which in turn gives rise to both the purpose and the is-sues of this paper. The questions of what evidential issues and norms that are raised in the context of such assessments are poorly researched questions, and the purpose of the thesis is therefore to clarify which norms of evidence are applicable when assessing a state's conduct in the light of Article 51 of the UN Charter and the right to self-defense arising from international customary law.

Based on the purpose of my thesis, the questions at issue were formed. The first question is: how does the International Court handle evidence in the con-text of the right to self-defense? The focus here is on the International Court of Justice as it is the foremost forum for assessing the right to self-defense and has made a special decision in the case called Oil Platforms. Analyzing the Oil Platforms case is part of my method because it is known as a decision that largely depended on evidential factors and clearly illustrated how the court addresses these issues in assessing a state's invocation of the right to self-defense. One of the main results of the analysis of the Oil Platforms case is that it can be confirmed that the court's general principle of the burden of proof onus probandi actori incumbit is the norm that is applied when assessing a state's actions in self-defense. Thus, it is for the state that alleges a fact in support of its claim to prove the existence of that fact. Furthermore, it was found that the court is free to formulate what standard of proof it will consider in the present case, but in Oil Platforms no such statement was ever made. The Court was criticized for this, but what can be found, however, is that the standard of proof is set high or very high and that strong evidence is required that does not raise doubt with the Court.

The second questions at issue is: what is the theme of evidence when assessing a state's conduct in self-defense, whether it is done by the International Court of Justice or by other actors in international law? If it is possible to establish a theme of evidence: how difficult is it for the state to prove the theme of evidence? On the basis of the Oil Platforms case, one can almost conclude that the theme of evidence of the right to self-defense is precisely the state's claim to have a right to self-defense, but that this statement also includes the claim to have been subjected to an armed attack, whereby it was necessary to act in self-defense and that this self-defense act was also proportionate.

The theme of evidence wasn’t as apparent from the case studies I conducted as part of my method. They could to some extent shed light on some evidential issues but are characterized by not being subject to judicial review. What the cases in the studies show most clearly, however, are the practical circumstances that can affect the difficulty of probating the theme of evidence of a state that claims its right to self-defense. It is not only the standard of proof that requires much to strengthen the state's assertion that the right to self-defense existed, but also practical circumstances such as the situation in which the decision to act in self-defense is taken or that states are unwilling to pre-sent evidence with fear that it may undermine their intelligence systems.

In summary, it is probably the fact that the right to self-defense is such a central provision, combined with it being a departure from the cornerstone of international law - the prohibition of violence - which requires a lot from the state to successfully demonstrate that it had the right to act in self-defense.},
  author       = {Andersson, Emma},
  keyword      = {folkrätt,public international law,rätten till självförsvar,art. 51 FN-stadgan,bevisfrågor,bevisnormer,Oil Platforms,bevistema,bevisbörda,beviskrav},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Bevisfrågor och staters rätt till självförsvar},
  year         = {2020},
}