Seventy years after the founding of the UN, armed conflict continues to plague the world. The UN Charter forbids the use of military force except in self-defense after an armed attack by another state or when approved by the Security Council. Yet the three most recent US presidents have violated that command.
Here's the thing. This audacious lawsuit is a disarmament wedge. Since I wrote last week's column, I've been in touch with Laurie Ashton, the lead attorney for the case in U.S. federal court, and have read the brief appealing the suit's dismissal, which was filed last month. To get this close to the case -- to its language, to its soul -- is to feel possibility begin pulsing in a unique way.
Although the International Court of Justice could take years to decide if Russia or Ukraine bear responsibility for the missile attack, bringing ICJ litigation could exert pressure on those countries to provide reparations to the victims' families and to take measures to ensure that such missile attacks are not repeated.