Global Insider: International Norms of Hot Pursuit

In October, Turkey invoked the principle of hot pursuit to send hundreds of troops across its border with Iraq following an attack by Kurdish militants within Turkey. In an email interview, Geoffrey S. Corn, professor of law at South Texas College of Law, discussed the international norms of hot pursuit.

WPR: What are the main international norms governing hot pursuit across international borders?

Geoffrey S. Corn: Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter obligates states to respect the territorial integrity of other states and prohibits military interference with the sovereignty of other states. International law condemns violating this obligation as unlawful aggression. Accordingly, sending armed forces into the territory of another state is presumptively unlawful aggression and is specifically included within the definition of aggression adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1974.

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