Limiting the use of force
in Violence and the state
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The chapter challenges the idea that the ad hoc Tribunals and the ICC represent the ‘“progressive cosmopolitanisation” of international law’. Two interrelated arguments are made: first, the extended reach of legality, as it concerns limitations on the use of force in the international system, remains restricted by factors explained by classic conceptions of state sovereignty and state interests; and second, while instituting legal mechanisms to punish individual violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) challenges historically established norms regarding the way that states use force, constraints on the use of violence are best understood through ‘pluralist’ interpretations of the sovereign right to use force and the sovereign right of non-interference. Thus, while it is clear that new mechanisms of justice have increased the efficacy of IHL, the state remains the primary arbiter with regards to punishing violations of the laws of war


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