1 October 2005

The purpose of this study is to provide a clear statement of the rules of international law governing the use of force by states in self-defence.

Authors

Elizabeth Wilmhurst

Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG

Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme

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The purpose of this study is to provide a clear statement of the rules of international law governing the use of force by states in self-defence. The rules are being challenged in the light of what are seen as new threats from terrorism and from the possession of weapons of mass destruction, and there has been controversy as to whether they need revision or redefinition. The study was prompted by various statements and actions by states, recent developments in the United Nations and by decisions of the International Court of Justice.

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