We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Substantive international law limitations and problems

Zeray Yihdego—Weldegiorgis, (2005) Substantive international law limitations and problems. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) [about 700 million in circulation] has been causing deplorable security and other concerns of international law. SALW are the primary tools of violations/abuses of humanitarian principles by states, rebels, terrorists and criminals many consider them as the real weapons of mass destruction [พMD] of our time [about half a million deaths annually]. The unrestricted international transfers of SALW by states [99 states and 1000 companies involved in manufacturing and supply] is one of the major contributory and/or aggravating factor to the crises they are the main source of the illicit trafficking in small arms, and therefore deserves prime attention. This thesis has dealt with questions of definition, manufacturing, trade/transfers, and some issues of state responsibility. Whilst a wide approach has been adopted to define SALW, the focus of the research has been on conventional small arms, in particular military-style weapons. There seems no substantive restriction upon small arms manufacture, although there are evolving norms to that effect. Issues of definition and manufacturing have been examined as a background to the main issue. The core legal problem tackled in the thesis is whether or not the law of arms control and other relevant norms of international law provide substantive restrictions upon the transfer of small arms by states, as a response to the crisis, with emphasise on supply-side of the issue. Some studies and publicists submitted that there are no rules of international law applicable to these transactions, save Security Council arms embargoes. The thesis will challenge this assertion from the perspective of the application of the norms of international peace and security, non-intervention, humanitarian and human rights laws, and/or evolved relevant customary rules of arms control relating to these norms. It will be argued that the international order has acquired applicable arms control and other existing obligations and restrictions, upon such transactions. Whilst the application of the aforementioned norms of international law to the problem has been fairly examined, the practices of the international community at all levels, including the position of prominent NGOs and publicists on the subject, have been particularly considered in the light of sources of international law and analogous legal regimes. The details of the legal standards are subject to the progressive development of international law; however, their violations may lead to the weapon supplier, recipient or other states’ primary responsibility. Finally, findings and recommendations of the thesis have highlighted the achievements and challenges of the international community and the legal measures that must be taken to arrest the illegal small arms transfer and their atrocious consequences.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:50

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter