In a recent Justia blog post, Professor Lesley Wexler evaluated the U.S. response to allegations that Syria, under President Assad, has yet again used chemical weapons on its own civilians. She notes that the Trump administration’s resolve to enforce the Chemical Weapon Convention with force is being called into question, and says that both the United States and France have used some hedging language that would allow them to walk back from their commitments. She writes:
"But whether use should be condemned through a military strike isn’t only a policy question; it is also a legal one. Under traditional understandings, states may not engage in the use of force under the UN Charter unless they have a case for self-defense or a UN authorization. Some have argued that states additionally ought to be able to use force for humanitarian interventions, even in the absence of textual permission under the UN Charter. But to whatever extent the legality of humanitarian interventions has been accepted, the legality of strikes to enforce weapons treaties is much less clear. No legal rationale has yet been offered by either the United States or France to justify a future strike."
Full post at verdict.justia.com.