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von Bernstorff, J (2019). From Versailles to the Kellogg-Briand Pact: Prohibiting and Justifying Aggression in the Interbellum. German Yearbook of International Law, 62(1), 211-244. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.62.1.211
von Bernstorff, Jochen (2019). "From Versailles to the Kellogg-Briand Pact: Prohibiting and Justifying Aggression in the Interbellum" German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 62no. 1, 2019 pp. 211-244. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.62.1.211
von Bernstorff, J (2019). From Versailles to the Kellogg-Briand Pact: Prohibiting and Justifying Aggression in the Interbellum. German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 62 (Issue 1), pp 211-244. https://doi.org/10.3790/gyil.62.1.211

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From Versailles to the Kellogg-Briand Pact: Prohibiting and Justifying Aggression in the Interbellum

von Bernstorff, Jochen

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 62 (2019), Iss. 1 : pp. 211–244

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Jochen von Bernstorff, Dean Tübingen Law Faculty, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Tübingen.

Abstract

The article is a historical re-description of international legal debates concerning the ius ad bellum in the Interwar period (1919–1936). Using a core/periphery heuristic, it is demonstrated that the normative changes created by the League Covenant and the Kellogg-Briand Pact were being drafted and interpreted by the great powers in a way that still allowed them to justify military interventions in their peripheries. Even military violence between Western states could only be partially outlawed by these instruments. Legal uncertainties produced during the drafting of the new instruments could readily be exploited by the Western dominated international legal discourse. And yet, with the principle of sovereign equality on the rise in the Interbellum, and the battle of semi-periphery governments against the ‘standard of civilisation', traditional justifications for military violence came under increasing pressure. At that very moment, international lawyers in the core introduced a broader understanding of self-defence, gradually replacing former justifications for military interventions both within the core and in the peripheries of Western powers. All of this taken together in practice arguably consumed a substantial part of the alleged ‘progress' made by international legal pacifism in the Interbellum.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Jochen von Bernstorff\nFrom Versailles to the Kellogg-Briand Pact: Prohibiting and Justifying Aggression in the Interbellum 211
I. Introduction 211
II. Ius Ad Bellum Justifications Before World War I 214
III. The League Covenant 211
A. The Use of Military Force Within the Core: The League Project of Collective Security 211
B. The Use of Military Force in the Semi-Periphery: Measures Short of War 211
IV. The Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928): A New Regime for War and Violence in International Relations? 212
A. Context and Content of the Pact 212
B. Post-Pact Practice 212
V. Conclusion 213