An Analysis of the legitimacy of self defence against non-state actors in international law
Ngolo, Emily Sharon Wakesho
MetadataShow full item record
In recent years, there has been a proliferation of non-state actors that have proven to be a credible threat to the survival of states and mankind. These non-state actors are strong not only in number and ammunition but also economically. In the event a sovereign state is attacked or threatened to be attacked, it is within its rights to defend itself and its people. Historically, the right of self-defence in international law could only be invoked as between states. The question as to whether the inherent right of self-defence arises in the case where the attacker is not a state under international law, has been seen to creep into numerous legal discussions recently, as a result of the emergence of these dangerous non-state actors all over the world, and subsequently, retaliatory actions by states in the façade of self-defence. This paper intends to analyse the provisions of international law to determine what the future holds, if at all the international community is to curb the threat posed by these non-state actors while still upholding the spirit and purpose of the United Nations Charter, by preventing the unilateral recourse to use of force by states. The paper finds that, self-defence against non-state actors should be permitted for states but with various limits in the law. The right should have stringent limits.