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Approaching the (il)legal use of force through the lens of legal empirics

Many norms on international peace and security are indeterminate. Thus, in a concrete context, the meaning of these norms depends chiefly on interpretation. State representatives are paramount in this interpretative exercise as they help to articulate what is considered legal or illegal by their State in a given situation.

Therefore, this part of the project uses legal empirics to explore the different interpretative patterns and their importance for the evolution of peace and security law. By conducting semi-structured interviews with a representative sample of diplomats we will identify the main factors impacting on the interpretation of indeterminate norms by state officials. The aim is to identify the different approaches to international law, existing and emerging dividing lines, and the diverging use of international law which can be found in the various legal cultures.