Military Assistance on Request and the Use of Force

ISBN : 9780198784401

Erika De Wet
156 x 234 mm

The book examines if and to what extent the proliferation of direct military assistance on the request of a recognized government is changing the rules regulating the use of force. Since the end of the Cold War, several (sub)regional organizations in Africa have codified military assistance on request in their respective treaty frameworks. In addition, in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, internationally recognized governments embroiled in protracted armed conflicts have requested direct military assistance from individual States or groups of States. These requests are often accepted by the other States, and at times the United Nations Security Council, even when the requesting governments have very limited effective control over their territories, lack democratic legitimacy, and are engaged in wide-spread and systematic violations of international human rights, and humanitarian law.

This book departs from a definition of requested military assistance that refers to the exercise of forcible measures by third-State armed forces or those controlled by an international organisation in the territory of the requesting State. It then examines the authority to issue a request for (or consent to) direct military assistance, as well as the type of situations in which such assistance may be requested?notably whether it can be requested during a civil war (armed conflict). De Wet finishes by examining the important and controversial question of whether, and to what extent, the proliferation of forcible assistance on request is changing the legal framework applying to the use of force in international law.


Erika de Wet is Professor of International Law in the Faculty of Law of the University of Graz, Austria. She is also Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Bonn, Germany. She was the SARChI Professor of International Constitutional Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa. She was also founding Co-Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law at the Universits of Pretoria. She was also tenured Professor of International Constitutional Law at the Amsterdam Center for International Law. Erika de Wet completed her B. Iur and LL.B as well as her LL.D at the University of the Free State (South Africa). She holds an LL.M from Harvard University and completed her Habilitationsschrift at the University of Zurich. She is currently is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Development Policy of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rules of Law; and the General Council of the International Society of Public Law (ICON*S).