• Trond Arvid Vigdal Hov
4. term, Laws, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis examines the rules of international law in light of Russia's argumentation for the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The Russian arguments consist of references to international law under the UN treaty and disputed topics of international law. The subject of this thesis is to assess and determine whether Article 51 of the UN Charter is a legal basis for Russia. The thesis also assesses if genocide can be said to constitute a legal basis for Russia's invasion.
To be able to assess whether Russia's arguments are in accordance with international law, the thesis will first analyse Russia's declaration to extract the legal arguments.
Thereafter, the main rule of international law on states' use of force, will be analysed. Here, the thesis examines Article 2.4 of the UN Charter and assesses which actions are covered by the provision and which are not.
After the analysis of the prohibition of force, the main rule is concretely applied to the Russian invasion, where the thesis shows that Russia is waging a war of aggression.
Once the Russian invasion's connection to the prohibition of force has been clarified, the exceptions under the UN Charter and international customary law will then be analysed by interpreting the UN Charter's Article 51, in light of customary law expressed in practice from the ICJ and theory of international law. This part is central to being able to assess Russia's argument about self-defence.
When the right to self-defence as an independent exception to the prohibition of force has been analysed, the exception will be applied concretely to the Russian argument. Here the position is taken on the element of expansion which Russia puts forward as a basis for self-defence. The thesis will show that the right to self-defence does not apply to Russia.
The thesis then moves on to Russia's next argument – genocide. The thesis examines if states have access to use force based on gross violations of basic human rights under international law. Central here is to assess whether humanitarian intervention is an exception to the prohibition on the use of force, on the basis of genocide.
The concept of humanitarian intervention will then be held up against Russia's argument about genocide, where it cannot be said that it is permissible for a State to execute a unilateral humanitarian intervention under international law.
The thesis then concludes that Russia's arguments do not have validity under international law according to existing international law, and thus that self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter and humanitarian intervention on the basis of genocide cannot serve as a legal basis for Russia's invasion. The use of force is covered by the prohibition of force. The invasion is thus contrary to international law.
Publication date16 May 2023
Number of pages80
ID: 528831407