Nasir N. Pasha is the lead attorney of Pasha Law and provides essential legal services and support to businesses and businesses in California, Illinois, New York and Texas. He oversees all of the company`s operations and is an essential force in nurturing customer relationships and ensuring that each transaction is completed to its best possible conclusion. At some point, however, the vagueness and ambiguity are debilitating. When important concepts and categories of international law lose solid meaning, consensus on how to assess state conduct collapses. And while legal rules may continue to exist on paper, they no longer do much to ensure that states behave in a predictable and non-arbitrary manner. Among other things, it can increase instability: if no one can be sure of the level of incremental activity in the gray area that will trigger a crucial reaction from another state, the risk of accidental escalation increases. The activities of States in grey areas exploit and create legal ambiguities and, together, the activities of States in grey areas constitute a significant challenge to the international rule of law. This is not because such grey area activities violate international law: ironically, they could be less destabilizing from a rule of law perspective if they could easily be characterized as egregious cases of rule violations. The grey area activities of powerful states challenge the international rule of law precisely because they escape mere legal categorization.
In a sense, the activities of the state`s grey area represent a serious and sustained attack on the once widely accepted meaning of central international legal concepts and categories such as «self-defence», «armed attack», «imminent», «combatant», «civilian», «armed conflict» and «hostilities». Of course, the dissemination of grey area activities could also stimulate legal and institutional innovation. If all or most States accept a new interpretation of key terms and concepts relating to the use of force, international law on the use of force will evolve. If States fail to agree on how to interpret key concepts, the risk of conflict between States will increase, but the increased risk of conflict may itself trigger the creation of new dispute settlement mechanisms (whether judicial or extrajudicial), which in turn may develop new authoritative interpretations of the law. This also applies to the legal framework of conflict and coercion. International law and American law start from the idea that it is possible, important and reasonably easy to distinguish between war and peace, emergencies and normality, foreign and national, public and private, etc. We have sophisticated rules that govern the conduct of «parties» in «armed conflicts»; we divide people into «combatants» and «civilians»; there are those of «violence», «self-defence», «armed attacks» and actions that lag behind armed attacks; We distinguish between areas with «active hostilities» and areas without such hostilities, between «internal», «international» and «non-international» armed conflicts, and between civilians who «participate directly in hostilities» and those who are not. It`s a question that comes up on NPR from time to time, and if it does, we`ve reached out to experts like Kim Wehle, who is now a law professor and legal commentator at CBS News. Now she has written a book about it. It`s called How to Read the Constitution – and Why. Greyzone actors deliberately exploit these uncertainties in order to evade legal responsibility and minimize military, economic and political consequences. Chinese government-sponsored hackers, for example, steal sensitive U.S.
military information, but difficulties in attribution — and the unacceptable costs of an open military confrontation — prevent the U.S. from responding decisively; In the South China Sea, Chinese «coast guard» vessels patrol the waters off new artificial Chinese «islands,» and «civilian» Chinese fishing vessels deliberately cause near-collisions with U.S. military vessels to prevent them from getting too close to places or exercises considered sensitive by the Chinese. Most of the time, when lawyers refer to the «gray area» of the law, they are referring to laws that they have not spent the time researching and seeing blacks and whites. The law is largely predictable. There are very few grey areas, and where it is grey, there is still predictability about what is dangerous. For example, the legalization of medical marijuana in some states is in direct contradiction to federal law. Some lawyers may say this is a grey area in terms of legality; However, it is black and white that there is a risk that the federal government will begin to enforce such laws in states that have legalized their medical use, and that a risk analysis may therefore be conducted.