Right to Self-Defence of States under International Law: A Conceptual Understanding​s

Pukar Dahal
Kathmandu School of Law, Purbanchal University – Bhaktapur, Nepal.

Volume III, Issue V, 2020

Right to Self-defense is recognized as an inherent right of sovereign states in the realm of international law. Under Article 51 of the UN Charter, the member States may resort to the use of force as: i) a self-defence against an armed attack or ii) if use of force has been authorized by the Security Council. However, exercising right to self-defence comes with its own limitations. 

This paper is an attempt to understand the concept of self-defence, its theoretical and legal dimension, and study its application and exceptions. The paper further provides an insight into two key concepts: legitimate right to self-defence and pre-emptive self-defence under international law.  Moreover, the paper looks into different case laws decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to self-defence. Various secondary sources like books, research articles, and journals has been studied for the purpose of writing this paper.        

Keywords: Use of Force; Right to Self-defense; International law; Armed attack.