In this episode I speak Chris O’Meara, Lecturer at Exeter University Law School, about his new book, Necessity and Proportionality and the Right of Self-Defence in International Law. Chris describes his novel taxonomy for dividing the principle of necessity between general and specific necessity, and his blending the quantitative and teleological approaches to the principle of proportionality, and goes on to explain how the relationship among necessity, proportionality, and imminence should be properly understood. We delve into some of the more potentially controversial claims he makes, such as: on how he thinks necessity operates as a limiting principle; why the gravity threshold for armed attack should be lowered; whether the principles of self-defence are modified in responses to non-state actors; why the assertions and actions of a minority of powerful states, particularly in relation to clearly unlawful uses of force, and the corresponding silence of other states, should be considered so heavily in thinking about custom – and so much more! A fascinating conversation.
– “The Relationship Between National, Unit and Personal Self-Defence in International Law: Bridging the Disconnect,” 4 Journal on the Use of Force and International Law 273 (2017).
– “Reconceptualizing the Right of Self-Defence Against Imminent Armed Attacks,” 9 Journal on the Use of Force and International Law 278 (2022).
– Tom Ruys et al., The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach (2018);
– Jay Kristoff, Nevernight (2016).