An International Use of Force in Salisbury?

Incident: 4th March 2018

Location: Salisbury, UK

Victims: former Russian spy and his daughter plus other individuals were also injured

Alleged culprit: Russian Government

Weapon: Nerve Agent (a chemical which causes muscle contraction, paralysis and overstimulation of the nervous system within seconds) developed for military use during WWII

Consideration: Individual targeted assassination is not automatically within the definition of "use of force".

"Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter is traditionally interpreted to concern itself with kinetic force of sufficient intensity administered across borders through regular or irregular military means. The use of force must be aimed at a sovereign object identified with a state, such as foreign territory, ships or aircraft. Arguably, an assault by military means on a group of nationals abroad on account of their nationality might also involve the prohibition of the use of force. However, violence against specific individuals is unlikely to cross that threshold."

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