Chicago Journal of International Law


Article 1(1) of the UN Charter states the primary purpose of the international organization thus: "To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace." Such an ambitious commitment to a new international order raised not only high hopes but also crucial questions regarding its implementation. Who is to determine whether there has been a breach of "international peace and security"? What "collective measures" are to be taken in the event of such a breach, and by whom? These crucial questions were not overlooked by the nations as they negotiated the post-war order and, in the words of the Charter's preamble, set about preparing the contours of a new institutional process by which "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." After forty million deaths caused by the just-ended conflict, states well understood the necessity for collective security and sought to invent a process-replete with parliamentary, executive and judicial institutions-which, if utilized properly, would ensure against the recurrence of such global catastrophes by timely decisions and effective means. [CONT]