Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


With the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the increasing depolarization of the international community, the United Nations is being heralded as the vehicle for a new world order. World political leaders are reaffirming their commitment to the United Nations as the forum for resolution of international conflicts. Notwithstanding their public support, however, the United States and Great Britain may actually have undermined the emerging credibility of the United Nations by insisting that they had the right to take independent action against Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The two nations justified independent action as an exercise of Kuwait's right of self-defense as provided in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The Note analyzes Article 51 and concludes that the right of self-defense may not be asserted after the Security Council has taken the measures it deems necessary to restore international peace.