Report on use of force by Essex lawyer is published

  • Date

    Thu 4 Oct 18

Essex lawyer Professor Noam Lubell has helped write what is likely to be a "hugely influential" new international report on the use of force.

The report was commissioned in 2010 by the International Law Association, an international non-governmental organisation tasked with promoting "the study, clarification and development of international law.” The Commission tasked an expert committee to produce a report on Aggression and the Use of Force, a notoriously contested field of law.

Eight years on and the report has been published with Professor Lubell, from our School of Law and Human Rights Centre, having played a key role, serving as rapporteur.

Professor Lubell said: “The report is representative of the current state of the law and longstanding debates such as humanitarian intervention and anticipatory self-defence, but also takes account of current and emerging challenges such as cyber operations."

In his capacity as rapporteur, Professor Lubell prepared the draft report along with the Chair. However, Professor Lubell made clear that the report is the product of collective effort: “This report is the culmination of eight years of work, bringing together over thirty of the world’s leading experts in international law, working together to present a report providing a definitive picture of the international legal regulation of the resort to force by states.”

Impressively, the report captures a consensus view on a wide range of hotly disputed matters of international law: “As can be imagined, with such a large group of experts there were many different views and approaches that needed to be considered, and I am incredibly pleased that we managed to navigate through this and reach a result that makes a positive contribution to the international legal community and all those involved, whether academics, government lawyers, or civil society,” he added.

Dr Daragh Murray, Senior Lecturer in our Human Rights Centre and School of Law expects the report to make a significant impact: “This report is likely to be hugely influential. It provides an insightful and accessible overview of the law as it relates to the use of force, offering important guidance on contemporary issues such as self-defence against non-State actors, humanitarian intervention, and cyber operations”.