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Playing the Devil's Advocate: the United Nations Security Council is Unbound by Law

Abstract

Playing the devil's advocate, it is argued that ultimately there are no international legal limits to the UN Security Council's enforcement powers. The argument is based on a brief analysis of various UN Charter provisions and the rejection of the ius cogens concept and other possible arguments for international legal limits. The conclusion reached is that the UN Security Council has unfettered powers when dealing with maintenance of international peace and security issues.

Is it true of the Security Council, that: […] because the End of this Institution is the Peace and Defence of […] all; and whosoever has the Right to the End, has the Right to the Means, it belongeth of Right [to him] to be Judge both of the Meanes [sic] of Peace and Defence; and also of the hindrances and disturbances of the same; and to do whatsoever he shall think necessary to be done […]Martti Koskenniemi, quoting from Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan

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Leiden Journal of International Law
  • ISSN: 0922-1565
  • EISSN: 1478-9698
  • URL: /core/journals/leiden-journal-of-international-law
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