- Maritime embargo operations: naval implementation of UN sanctions at sea under Articles 41 and 42 of the UN Charter
- Netherlands International Law Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 60 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL)
Maritime embargo operations implement economic sanctions adopted by the UNSC by means of naval forces at sea. In order to implement such sanctions in line with international law, it is essential for states that the legal basis in maritime embargo operations is clear. Since the UNSC has authorized states to use force in the enforcement of economic measures at sea, the precise legal basis of a certain category of maritime embargo operations has, however, been the subject of debate. Commentators have argued in a variety of ways to either categorize these military operations under Article 41, or Article 42 of the UN Charter, or even somewhere in between. This article first categorizes the different types of maritime embargo operations to underline that such maritime embargo operations can have different legal bases. Secondly, it considers under which circumstances maritime embargo operations can fall within the context of Article 41 or 42. It is argued that against the background of the evolved scope of Article 42 there may now be less reluctance to position explicit maritime embargo operations that also authorize the use of force within Article 42 of the UN Charter.
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