Natural disasters and the theory of international law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


When we examine the rules of international law applicable to large-scale natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, and volcanic eruptions, the first thing to clarify is to what situations these rules could be applicable-in other words, the ratione materie of these rules. Next, we should also consider the ratione temporis of these international rules, namely, applicability in the pre-disaster, in-disaster, and post-disaster phases. The issue of ratione persone must also be examined, namely, to whom these international rules are addressed: affected states, individual victims, international relief organizations, NGOs, and non-state entities. Finally, the ratione loci of these rules must be determined, in other words, the geographical or territorial sphere of applicability. When we consider the whole structure of these international rules applicable to large-scale natural disasters, at least from a theoretical point of view, a “Kelsenian” approach to law might be regarded as an effective analytical method.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Law of Disaster Relief
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781107447844
ISBN (Print)9781107061316
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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