Power v. Truth: Realism and Responsibility

Thomas Franck believes that the strict constraints imposed by the UN Charter on military intervention in other countries have become too constraining and that, so long as the Charter text remains unrevised, we should condone violations of these rules as legitimated by a jurying process. The relevant UN Charter constraints he seeks to subvert are two in particular. First, the Charter suggests that, outside the UN system, military force may be used across national borders only in “individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security” (Article 51). Apart from this, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations” (Article 2(4)). Second, regarding the use of force by the UN itself, the Charter proclaims that “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII” (Article 2(7)).1..
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