A locus classicus of international law, the study of the regulation of the legality of the use of force has an unavoidable ring of tragic fanciness about it. War, as acknowledged by David Kennedy in the very first sentence of his book, is indeed ‘a profound topic – like truth, love, death or the divine’. A Pandora's box of multiple distilled intellectual emotions behind which lurk the horrid memories of its survivors, war only truly breathes in the mirrors of the mutilated, in the eyes of the tortured, in the memories of the displaced, in withering flowers over graves crowned, most of the time, by religious symbols. A vague intellectual scent of it, a sort of aseptic intellectual variant, still remains, nonetheless, a field of professional interest for international lawyers.
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