Counteraction to aggression by means of contemporary international law

Makarchuk A. Counteraction to aggression by means of contemporary international law: historical-legal study

The problem of international influence aimed at prevention of potential and cessation of actual issues of violation of the principle of refraining from treat or use of force as an element of foreign policy of the states is studied. The brief overview of the legal regime of aggression is given, particularly focusing on the differences between the qualification of the act of aggression in the peace time and such military activities within the regime of wartime.

Five available mechanism of compensation and prevention of aggression are characterized. Three of such were broadly known and applied far before the foundation of United Nations. The first and the basic pillar of prevention of unlawful aggression is predetermined nullity of all territorial, economic or political benefits obtained by the state as the results of aggression. Such is particularly declared by the numerous international acts of the 20th century including Vienna convention on the law of international treaties and the UN Charter itself.

Second possible outcome of aggression, common in international relations is the application towards the aggressor state of non-military sanctions that may however include economic, diplomatic, political influence that has to bring the aggressor to refuse from such politics. This mechanism has suffered a great evolution throughout last seventy years, beginning from application of universal sanctions in the cold war period to sectorial sanctions common for nowadays period. Third basic pillar of international counteraction to aggression is the application of obligation to pay certain reparations in the interest of the victim state, that was not so common for the modern international law, having however some notable examples of application.

Two new mechanism of counteraction to aggression were brought to the international practice by the United Nations. In the first place it is the international criminal prosecution of the persons directly responsible for the act of aggression. Such mechanism was established by the precedent of Nurnberg and Tokyo tribunals. Notable point, declared by the statutes of the International criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and such for Ruanda, is that the official status of the person as the leader of the state shall not object his bringing to criminal liability.

Last mechanism is the international interference into military conflict on the resolution of UN Security Council by means of initiation of the international peacemaking mission. Such mechanism has been applied more than 60 times throughout the decades, involving more than 1 million persons from more than 130 UN member countries. Such method has proven its effectiveness as the instrument to stop the act of aggression for the period of political resolution of the dispute.

Provided analysis shows the most warrantable and effective approaches that might be taken by international community to solve the existing international tension and pursue the peaceful development of international relations.

Key words: international law, UN, principle of refraining from threat or use of force, aggression.


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