Journal Article

The Puzzle of Collective Self-defence: Dangerous Fragmentation or a Window of Opportunity? An Analysis with Finland and the Åland Islands as a Case Study

Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 249-274
Published in print July 2017 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online June 2017 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krx005
The Puzzle of Collective Self-defence: Dangerous Fragmentation or a Window of Opportunity? An Analysis with Finland and the Åland Islands as a Case Study

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Abstract

The present article moves across international, European Union (EU) and domestic law while examining the legal puzzle of collective security. The right to collective exercise of self-defence remains one of the tools in the global system of collective security, as guided by the United Nations Charter. States have different possibilities when exercising their inherent right to self-defence, and relevant decisions are made at the national, European as well as at international level. The recent expansion of the interpretations of the right to self-defence poses new problems for small states often ‘squeezed’ between superpowers and alliances of all sorts. The reinterpretation of the collective security system also affects old-standing legal regimes such as the one pertaining to the Åland Islands. The international legal rules on the demilitarisation and neutralisation of the islands, with their origins in the outcomes of the 19th-century Crimean War, form a small part of the global collective security system, which aims at limiting the use of armed force in inter-state relations. The EU Common Security and Defence Policy as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation undertakings are interpreted and implemented in the domestic legal orders of their respective Member States. The diverging interpretations of the core concepts involved create ambiguities that are also visible in current domestic legal and political debates.

Journal Article.  12213 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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