Universität Wien

030816 SE Use of Force & UN Security Council: Forms of Violence (2021S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work

Dieses Seminar wird gemeinsam mit dem Seminar von Professor Reinisch unterrichtet, bitte entweder dort oder hier anmelden, nicht bei beiden.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: German, English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The seminar will be held on June 14/15 together with a class of Prof. Reinisch. Please enroll either for this or Prof. Reinisch's seminar:

Wednesday 10.03. 17:00 - 19:00 Digital
Wednesday 17.03. 17:00 - 19:00 Digital
Wednesday 24.03. 17:00 - 19:00 Digital
Monday 14.06. 10:00 - 18:00 Digital
Tuesday 15.06. 10:00 - 18:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar will focus on the particular role of the UN Security Council in regard to the regulation and prohibition of the use of force.
It will address the development of the prohibition of the use of force in international law and the particular role and functions of the UN SC. It will equally deal with legal problem concerning humanitarian intervention and responsibility to protect, and the crucial role of the Security Council in this connection.
Participants are requested to select from the illustrative list of topics below or to choose comparable ones in coordination with the instructor.

Assessment and permitted materials

Seminar paper, presentation of the paper and participation in the discussion during the seminar sessions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Some knowledge of international law and a sufficient command of English.

Examination topics


• The history of regulating the use of force
• Overview of the exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force
• The system of collective security according to the UN Charter
• The use of force between collective self-defence and collective security
• Notion and legality of humanitarian intervention
• Responsibility to protect
• The definition of “aggression”
• Intervention
• The Security Council’s discretion to determine whether a situation under Article 39 of the UN Charter exists
• The legal basis for Security Council action against terrorism

Reading list

Einstiegsliteratur/Preliminary Bibliography

Jacob Katz Cogan/Ian Hurd/Ian Johnstone (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Organizations (OUP 2016).
Yoram Dinstein, War, Aggression and Self-Defence (6th ed.,2018).
Helmut Freudenschuß, Between Unilateralism and Collective Security: Authorizations of the Use of Force by the UN Security Council, 5 EJIL (1994) 492-531.
Gray, International Law and the Use of Force (4th ed., 2018).
Henderson, The Use of Force and International Law (2018).
Ralph Janik, International Law and the Use of Force – Cases and Materials (2019).
Jan Klabbers, An Introduction to International Organizations Law (3rd edition, CUP 2015).
Jan Klabbers/Åsa Wallendahl (eds.), Research Handbook on the Law of International Organizations (Edward Elgar 2011).
Vaughan Lowe/Adam Roberts/Jennifer Welsh/Dominik Zaum (eds.), The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945. Oxford (OUP, 2008).
O’Connell/Tams/Tladi (Hrsg), Self-Defence against Non-State Actors (2019).
Ruys/Corten/Hofer (Hrsg), The Use of Force in International Law – A Case-Based Approach (2018).

See also the various blog posts on international law:

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:12