The act of war has been outlawed under international law. Sadly, things are never that simple. War will happen – between states and between states and non-states. But does the U.S. have to wait to actually be attacked before in can act? When and how states can act in self-defense is an important and still evolving area of the law. Based upon the change in the conduct of contemporary conflicts, some experts and governments contend that the traditional laws of armed conflict are no longer sufficient alone, but must be addressed in conjunction with international human rights law. The assigned articles delve into what conditions must exist for a state to properly exercise its right of self-defense under international law.
Considering the articles, discuss the following:
- If a diplomatic conference were to be organized with the purpose of drafting another Laws of Armed Conflict Convention, what subject matter should it address?
- Should it clarify or define existing conventions?
- If so, which ones? If not, why not? (Are they clear enough, would further defining terms provide too many restrictions, etc.)
- If such a convention were to be drafted, would you recommend the United States become a signatory? Why or why not?
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