Plea of necessity

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Definition[edit | edit source]

Plea of necessity
The plea of necessity allows a State to act in exceptional cases when there is grave and imminent peril to an essential interest of the State and the action in question is the sole means of safeguarding that interest.[1] Even then, the plea of necessity requires that the injured State’s action be balanced with the interests of any States that would be affected and with those of the international community.[2] The injured State’s action must not seriously impair the essential interests of any other State.[3] The plea of necessity is not available to injured States that have substantially contributed to the situation in which they find themselves.[4] However, the plea of necessity can be asserted to take action against non-State actors and can justify actions that violate the rights of non-responsible States, if these conditions are met. In case the situation of necessity is caused by the conduct of non-State actors, attribution of this conduct to a State is not a precondition for acting based on the plea of necessity.

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