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A veto exercised by a permanent member of the UN Security Council to shield that state’s own manifest and prima facie aggression from condemnation and collective action by the Council is legally flawed. The UN Charter can be reasonably interpreted as prohibiting such a veto and depriving it of legal force. This flows from Article 27(3) of the Charter, in conjunction with the prohibition of the abuse of rights, as a manifestation of the principle of good faith, and the obligation to respect the right to life, against the background that the prohibition has the status of jus cogens. These norms generate a legal responsibility of all Security Council members to treat such vetoes as abusive and therefore as an abstention.


© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. DOI: