European Student Think Tank

By Johannes Tropper, student of Law at the University of Vienna and ambassador to Austria for the European Student Think Tank.

The heinous attacks in Paris have shaken the whole of Europe. The French President described the attacks by ISIS terrorists as an ‘act of war’, which implied that a serious response had to be expected. However, France has already been involved in combating the terrorists in the Middle East by military means. This raises a central question: What has been the legal basis of French military strikes against ISIS under international law?

Since 2014 a coalition of the United States, France and other countries has flown airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In 2015 the Russian Federation got involved targeting ISIS and other groups in Syria. In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, France has now declared war on ISIS. Under international law there is neither a…

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