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The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era: Applying the Principle of Legality

The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era: Applying the Principle of Legality I NTERNATIONAL O RGANIZATIONS L AW R EVIEW www.brill.nl/iolr © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157237307X223602 Book Review Kenneth Manusama, The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era: Applying the Principle of Legality (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publisher, 2006) 344 pp., ISBN 90-04-15194-X It is somewhat mystifying to read in a study devoted to, and generally endorsing, the notion of legality, that there might be occasions when “existing international law is an obstacle rather than a solution” (p. 300). That would suggest a curious form of legality: a legality according to which the ends justify the means, which comes close, of course, to ignoring legality altogether as soon as insistence on the law would be too cumbersome or not lead to the desired results. Thus regarded, the book under review suffers from a curious theoretical problem: the rather central notion of legality is never properly thought through. At its best, legality typically is taken as “in adherence with the law”, but this is not always the case: often enough, legality has to battle for prominence with legitimacy. Indeed, sometimes the two are conflated – sometimes legitimacy is used to explain com- pliance, and sometimes legality is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Organizations Law Review Brill

The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era: Applying the Principle of Legality

International Organizations Law Review , Volume 4 (1): 153 – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3739
eISSN
1572-3747
DOI
10.1163/157237307X223602
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I NTERNATIONAL O RGANIZATIONS L AW R EVIEW www.brill.nl/iolr © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157237307X223602 Book Review Kenneth Manusama, The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era: Applying the Principle of Legality (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publisher, 2006) 344 pp., ISBN 90-04-15194-X It is somewhat mystifying to read in a study devoted to, and generally endorsing, the notion of legality, that there might be occasions when “existing international law is an obstacle rather than a solution” (p. 300). That would suggest a curious form of legality: a legality according to which the ends justify the means, which comes close, of course, to ignoring legality altogether as soon as insistence on the law would be too cumbersome or not lead to the desired results. Thus regarded, the book under review suffers from a curious theoretical problem: the rather central notion of legality is never properly thought through. At its best, legality typically is taken as “in adherence with the law”, but this is not always the case: often enough, legality has to battle for prominence with legitimacy. Indeed, sometimes the two are conflated – sometimes legitimacy is used to explain com- pliance, and sometimes legality is

Journal

International Organizations Law ReviewBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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