Russia’s Violation of Article 24 of the UN Charter

From EurasiaNet:

RFE/RL correspondent Heather Maher put this question to Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, the former president of the American Society of International Law, and a member of the National War Powers Commission. RFE/RL: You’ve read the reports of what’s happening in Georgia at the hands of the Russian military. Is this a violation of international law? Anne-Marie Slaughter: It depends on how you see what [the Russian military] is doing. To the extent that it has moved beyond South Ossetia and Abkhazia into Georgia proper, and that it is staying there — if the reports of its attacks on parts of Georgia that have nothing to do with those enclaves are true — then at some point this crosses into simple aggression against another country, which is a violation of the UN Charter. It is using force against the political independence and territorial integrity of another state. So there’s going to be a huge debate about at what point does it cross that line, because to the extent it was responding to a first use of force in an area where it had peacekeepers, then that looks more like self-defense or protection of nationals, or even defense of an internationally agreed force. And that certainly, is arguably legal — the initial response is arguably legal. But the further we move from the Georgian use of force and the Russian response to Russia “teaching Georgia a lesson” — which is what this certainly looks like — that is aggression. That is the illegal use of force against the territorial sovereignty and political independence of another state, and that’s a violation of Article 24 of the UN Charter.