Review of ‘Olivier Corten, The Law Against War, Oxford and Portland, Hart, 2010, 569p’

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Olivier Corten’s book, The Law Against War. is a translated and updated version of the initial French publication of 2008 (Le droit contre la guerre (Pedone)), which has been praised in the French speaking world for constituting a wide ranging study of the law on the use of force that fills a gap in the literature. Indeed, this extensive and in-depth analysis of the prohibition of the use of armed force and its exceptions in current public international law provides a welcome clarification of the status and the content of controversial legal concepts concerning the recourse to force, such as the doctrines of anticipatory and pre-emptive self-defence and the institution of the right of humanitarian intervention. Corten’s approach is a positivist legal one: he rigorously analyses state practice and case law since 1945 in order to determine the existence of customary rules relating to the use of force.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1195
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of International Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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