Has Russia Killed Article 2(4)? Evaluating the effectiveness of the prohibition of the use of force in the conduct of international affairs

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Abstract

The 24 February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia represents an unambiguous breach of the United Nations Charter’s prohibition of the use of force. The significance of the prohibition of the use of force between States cannot be overstated and is recognised in practice and legal doctrine as being ‘one of the core values of the international community’. However, argument has been made that the United Nations Charter’s rules prohibiting the use of force are no longer relevant to the conduct of international affairs, especially involving major powers. It could be argued that by their conduct States have repudiated the Charter’s use of force rules on so many occasions so as to make them wholly ineffective. One could see Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the latest sorry example of this. This article evaluates the question of whether the United Nations Charter’s rules prohibiting the use of force are effective and relevant to the conduct of international affairs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSan Diego International Law Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sept 2023

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