International Law Studies


Since the adoption of the Charter of the United Nations, the current international legal framework has drastically changed. In its traditional understanding, aggression is “the supreme international crime” aimed at protecting sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states. On the other hand, the U.N. Charter endorses an understanding of peace in the negative sense, that is, as mere absence of war. As human rights have gained momentum, they have helped reshape the legal landscape, a phenomenon referred to as the humanization of international law. How do peace and aggression fit within the humanized legal framework? This article will investigate the effects of the humanization of international law on peace and aggression. Specifically, it argues that a new trend is emerging, whereby human rights, more than the maintenance of peace per se, are increasingly seen as the pivotal aim of the current international legal framework. Ultimately, this analysis will question whether this is a welcomed development and will highlight its risks.