Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Jus post Bellum
Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Nigel White and Christian Henderson
Chapter 1: Conflict prevention
The general purpose of this first chapter is to ascertain and outline the law of conflict prevention through peaceful means with a focus on the role of the United Nations Security Council (hereinafter ‘UNSC’). As such, it is a prelude to the bulk of this volume on the law applicable to armed conflict, albeit a very necessary one, because it is clear that it is better to prepare and prevent, than to repair and repent. Two overriding considerations dictate the scope of the inquiry. First, the study of conflict prevention could comprise various scholarly disciplines such as political science, economics and international law, but also anthropology and theology. Conflict prevention entails more than the enforcement of international law, as a legal rule may have yet to be broken, and sub-topics may vary from the root causes of conflicts to the effectiveness of shuttle diplomacy on the brink of conflict eruption.1 However, to an extent this chapter approaches conflict prevention in a manner that could be viewed as formalistic and legalistic, as the inquiry is conducted on the basis of public international law that provides relevant norms for, and allocates competences to, different actors. Secondly, conflict prevention is squarely placed within the context and institutions of the international collective security system. In doing so, it covers a few areas of the collective security system that are dealt with in far greater substance elsewhere in this volume, but which have a distinct preventive feature in them.
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