Elements of an Act of Aggression: An Overview of Modern International Law and Practice

  • Sergey SayapinEmail author


The Charter of the United Nations is the principal source of contemporary international law for the regulation of the use of force in inter-State relations. It sets out the interrelated competences of the main bodies of the United Nations—first of all, of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the International Court of Justice—in the area of maintaining international peace and security, and confirms States’ inherent right of self-defence as a matter of applicable customary international law. The Charter’s main provision pertaining to the prohibition of the use of force—Article 2(4)—is at the heart of the in-depth legal analysis, as a rule of conventional and customary international law as well as one of jus cogens. The chapter suggests that any use of force not falling within one of three categories—Charter-based exceptions, Charter-related exceptions and extra-Charter exceptions to the prohibition of the use of force—might potentially qualify as aggression and entail consequences provided for under international law, including the individual criminal responsibility of its authors.


Supra Note Security Council International Peace North Atlantic Treaty Organization Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Institute and the author 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prevention and Communication DepartmentICRC Regional Delegation in Central AsiaTashkentUzbekistan

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