By Prof Nicolas Boeglin (Global Research): 3 December, 2015
Highlights from Prof Boeglin’s article:
UNSC Resolution 2249: a confusing text from legal perspective
Concerning the second argument presented by Prime Minister David Cameron, the content of the Resolution 2249 has been made public since November 13 (Note 2), and assertions made by Prime Minister Cameron require some clarifications.
As known, Security Council 2249 (see text ) resolution does not provide any legal basis for airstrikes in Syria. A careful reading of the text shows that Resolution 2249 does not mention Article 42 of the UN Charter, which allows Security Council to authorize States to the use of force, or even Chapter VII generally; nor does it use the verb “decide“, used when Security Council adopts a resolution on the use of force.
A note published by Royal Institute on International Affairs titled: “Assessing the Legal Basis for UK Military Action in Syria”, is quite clear on this very particular point of Resolution 2249 adopted on November 20:
“In order to provide legal authority for the use of force against ISIS under international law, a Security Council resolution would need to constitute a decision, taken under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, that states could use all necessary measures in their action against ISIS. Although resolution 2249 determines that ISIS is a ‘global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security’ and refers to ‘all necessary measures’, the language used in the operative part of the resolution is merely hortatory (‘calls upon’) and does not refer to Chapter VII. For those who are looking for specific UN authorization for the use of force, this is not it“.
Recently, international lawyers entitled their analysis of this resolution (see article ):
“The Constructive Ambiguity of the Security Council’s ISIS Resolution“. For the authors of this article, “Resolution 2249, on the other hand, is constructed in such a way that it can be used to provide political support for military action, without actually endorsing any particular legal theory on which such action can be based or providing legal authority from the Council itself. The creative ambiguity in this resolution lies not only in the fact that it does not legally endorse military action, while appearing to give Council support to action being taken, but also that it allows for continuing disagreement as to the legality of those actions“.
Nicolas Boeglin is Professor of International Law, Law Faculty, University of Costa Rica (UCR)
Photo Credits: Peter Gronemann