- UN-mandated maritime arms embargo operations in Operation Unified Protector
- Revue de Droit Militaire et de Droit de la Guerre = The Military Law and Law of War Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 50 | 1-2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
On the basis of UNSC Resolutions 1970 and 1973 on the situation in Libya, between March and October 2011 NATO conducted the Operation Unified Protector (OUP). An important part of this NATO-led mission was that of enforcing a UN-mandated arms embargo at sea. In this context, this article examines the legal framework for maritime enforcement operations and describes some key legal aspects related to the intervention against potential embargo-breakers at sea.
The arms embargo against Libya is unique because of the wording of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, especially if compared with previous resolutions adopted with regard to Iraq, Haiti and former Yugoslavia. Logically in fact, the text of resolutions has an impact on the development of naval operations. In particular, the ‘expanded authority’ approach adopted by the Security Council - according to which the main focus of the embargo operations is on the territory of member States, rather than on the soil of the targeted State - had several consequences for the implementation of the arms embargo against Libya at sea.
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