Jus Ad Bellum In The Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

AuthorBrendan Ryan
PositionBCL (Law & French) IV
Cork Online Law R eview 2007 12
Ryan, Jus ad Bellu m in the Israel–Hezbollah
Jus ad Bellum in Response to Non–State Aggression: Article 51, State
Responsibility & the Israel–Hezbollah Conflict, 2006
Brendan Ryan1
Liberty means responsibility. That is why mo st men dread it.
– George Bernard Shaw
Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations promulgates a general
prohibition on the use of force in the conduct of international affairs:
All Members sh all refrain in their internation al relations fro m the threat
or use of force against the territorial integrity or political in dependence of
any state, or in any other man ner inconsistent with the Purposes of the
United Nations.
No use of force outside of Security Council–sanctioned operations is
permissible, unless a given situation falls within the Article 51 self–defence
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of
individual or collective self–d efence if an armed attack occ urs against a
Member of the United Nation s, until the Sec urity Council has taken
measures necessary to maintain international peace and se curity.
Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self–defence
shall be immed iately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any
way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security C ouncil under
the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary
in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
[Emphasis add ed.]
The UN Charter’s conception of self–defence has its genesis in the
devastation of the Second World War and was tailored to respond to state–
on–state conventional attacks. 2 It goes without saying that the current
international climate poses radically altered challenges to the security of
states. Franck, writing as early as 1970, presciently notes two emergent
phenomena in warfare which could act to neutralise a state’s ability to defend
itself adequately: namely, the paralysing effect of a ‘first–strike’ nuclear attack
and the ability of non–state organisations to execute trans–frontier acts of
war. 3
1 BCL (Law & Frenc h) IV.
2 Cases & Materials on International Law, Dixon & M cCorquodale, p. 539.
3 Franck, “Who Kil led Article 2(4)?” AJIL (1972).

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