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International law on states arming non-state groups in other states

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2019
Güneş, Burak
This thesis looks into states arming non-state groups in other states, seeking to offer an evaluation of the case under the current international law. To this end, the work advances a theoretical account of the issue, highlighting some of the paradoxes constitutive of its handling in the modern doctrine. Specifically, it critiques the main unquestioned assumptions of this doctrine by adopting the Critical Legal approach introduced by Koskenniemi. Next, the work moves on to the prohibition of the unilateral use of force among states and the principle of non-intervention in the context. Arguably more critical under these norms of international law are the arming of combatant groups in other states that may rely on some claim of self-determination and the discourse of humanitarian intervention, which receive some weight in the discussion. The work then moves on to depict the evolving nature of warfare responsible for the proliferation of non-state armed groups. International responsibility and the global attempts to regulate arms transfers, with some emphasis on the Arms Trade Treaty, are also addressed in the work. The overall answer in the thesis to the question of arming non-state groups in other states is that various grey areas in the matter effectively prevent international law from providing one simple solution that might be applicable to all cases. International law has become so flexible that when the two sides in a dispute are unequal, international law inevitably serves the powerful side.