ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

ESIL Interest Group History of International Law

zaterdag 24 juni 2017

PAPER: Peter HILPOLD, How to Construe a Myth: Neutrality within the United Nations System Under Special Consideration of the Austrian Case

(image source: ESIL)

Prof. Peter Hilpold (Innsbruck) posted a paper on Austrian neutrality in the United Nations System, presented at this Interest Group's Workshop at the ESIL Research Forum (Granada, 30-31 March 2017).

In the 19th century neutrality was a highly appreciated concept. In the 20th century it has widely lost relevance and in principle it should be incompatible with UN membership. However, also under the UN system some states have opted for neutrality and it can be argued that there is still space for this status within the universal peace order. In fact, this peace order is far from perfect. There are several lacunae in the prohibition of the use of force and this concept is open to different interpretations. New challenges, such as international terrorism, are emerging that could threaten the absolute prohibition of the use of force. It is contended here that neutrals could play an important role when it comes to find an interpretation of this prohibition that best could reconcile the goals of peace and security with the overall - still imperfect - structure of the UN system. These questions are analysed with primary reference to Austrian neutrality which on the hand seems obsolete but on the other is forcefully looking for a new meaning.  
More information here.