Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Joel R. Paul


The international legal system operates to minimize violence. This paper examines whether the Bush Doctrine violates or creates international law. If the Bush Doctrine is understood to mean that only the United States may use force preemptively, then it is not creating law; it is merely a unilateral assertion of power. If, on the other hand, all states may use the Bush Doctrine to act to prevent war, then violence is maximized. In order for the Bush Doctrine to be accepted as law, there must be a limiting principle.