The Court then considered the question of the legality or illegality of the use of nuclear weapons in the light of the provisions of the Charter relating to the threat or use of force. It observed, inter alia , that those provisions applied to any use of force, regardless of the weapons employed. In addition it stated that the principle of proportionality might not in itself exclude the use of nuclear weapons in self-defence in all circumstances. However at the same time, a use of force that was proportionate under the law of self-defence had, in order to be lawful, to meet the requirements of the law applicable in armed conflict, including, in particular, the principles and rules of humanitarian law. It pointed out that the notions of a “threat” and “use” of force within the meaning of Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter stood together in the sense that if the use of force itself in a given case was illegal — for whatever reason — the threat to use such force would likewise be illegal.