10 May 2011

American hunt for Osama on Pakistani soil: Lessons from International Law

While the world is celebrating that an ostensible symbol of international terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, has been captured and killed, the trail of his capture has already initiated the debate on 'State Sovereignty' and whether terrorism considerations can out-weigh the regard and scope of international state boundaries. In his paper titled Pakistan's Sovereignty and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden, Ashely S. Deeks has provided glaring insights over the issue of State Sovereignty in as much as a new theory is being developed seemingly to justify the breach of state boundaries. 

Published under the aegis of American Society of International Law (ASIL), the paper concludes as under;
The facts and politics in this case make it unlikely that Pakistan’s defense of its sovereignty will find significant international support.  Nevertheless, it would be useful as a matter of international law for states to agree that the “unwilling or unable” test is the correct test for situations such as the U.S. raid against Bin Laden in Pakistan and to provide additional content to that test.  Doing so potentially could serve international law’s interests by minimizing legal disagreements at times when political and factual disagreements are running high.
An interesting reading for those following developments in international law. 

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