The use of force by the states under international law

Alqahtani, Mohammed Salem and Rohaida Nordin, and Faridah Jalil, (2021) The use of force by the states under international law. Jurnal Antarabangsa Kajian Asia Barat, 13 . pp. 15-29. ISSN 2229-8924


Official URL:


Notwithstanding the strict restriction on the use of military force under Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter (UN Charter), notable exceptions to the provision are conferred in Article 51. There are various interpretations among the states and researchers on Article 51 of the UN Charter. Consequently, some questions beg for answers and will: what makes up an ‘armed attack’ and what does ‘occurs’ mean? Does it mean that States should wait until they have been attacked before defending themselves? Can states rely on Article 51 of the Charter to use military force on terrorist group(s) in the name of self-defense? Is there any time limit within which the state can defend itself in self-defense? What is collective security? Thus, this research is undertaken to examine and provide answers to the above said questions by using a doctrinal legal research methodology. The findings reveal that Article 2(4) of the UN Charter encompasses the actual use of armed force and the threat to use force. The use of force through irregular forces should be regarded as an armed attack by the Charter; and a state’s right to defend itself is not without limitation or time limit. The UN Charter has not defined ‘armed attack’. Therefore, the authors recommend for the UN Charter amendment to provide a clause that will extend the meaning of ‘armed attack’ to include not only acts by regular forces but also irregular forces.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Use of force; States; Armed attack; Self-defence; UN Charter; Terrorist group
Journal:Jurnal Antarabangsa Kajian Asia Barat ; International Journal of West Asian Studies
ID Code:18014
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:07 Feb 2022 03:54
Last Modified:08 Feb 2022 07:27

Repository Staff Only: item control page