The Right of Military Personnel to Self-Defence: Challenging the State-Based Approach to the Jus ad Bellum

Abstract

This post challenges the state-centric approach taken by scholars and the International Court of Justice to the right of self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the UN Charter. In order to gain a full appreciation of such right, I argue that the ability of individual military personnel and/or units to defend themselves must be properly accounted for. After all, there is no legal distinction between the state and its military. This missing piece of the self-defence puzzle is crucial to how and when a state may lawfully defend itself. Scholarship and jurisprudence should, therefore, take a consolidated and holistic approach; one that includes the individual.

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