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Humanitarian Intervention Need for Legitimacy

Humanitarian Intervention Need for Legitimacy

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: openmindedd on Mar 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lebanese University
Faculty of Law and political and administrative SciencesSection Two
Humanitarian Intervention: the need for legitimacy
Prepared by:Leila Nicolas Rahbany
May 2007
IndexIntroduction1) Human values change traditional concept of sovereignty
The concept of humanitarian intervention: problems of definitionb- Approaches to humanitarian intervention: Solidarism vs. Pluralismc- From sovereign impunity to national and internationalaccountability
2) From the “right to intervene” to “responsibility to protect”
a- The responsibility to preventb- The responsibility to reactc- The responsibility to rebuild
3) - UN Human rights council: practice and the need of effectiveness-SuggestionsConclusion
 The decade and a half since the end of the Cold War has witnessed therise, albeit at first
ever so tentatively, of the
idea of the “humanitarianintervention,” followed by an extensive and rather sophisticateddebate concerning its legality and ethics.A dilemma was raised between the concept of humanitarianintervention and the classic Westphalian concept of state sovereignty,canonized in the UN Charter, in which the autonomy in the domesticsphere of each independent state was absolute—a modern version of the late medieval maxim of “rex imperator in regno suo” which means“each king is an emperor in his own kingdom, he recognized nosuperior authority”.
In many states, the result of the end of the Cold War has been a newemphasis on democratization, respect for human rights and goodgovernance. But in too many others, the result has been internal waror civil conflict – more often than not with political and humanitarianrepercussions.Humanitarian intervention poses the hardest test for an internationalsociety built on principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, and nonuse of force. Sovereign states are expected to act as guardians of theircitizens’ security and rights, but what happens if these states act asgangsters towards their people, treating sovereignty as a license tokill? Should the international community intervene to help save peoplefrom their dictators, or the state sovereignty concept prohibits thisintervention for it is considered as pure domestic jurisdiction? Thisbecame the subject of controversy of local and international levels ason the theoretical and practical level.Humanitarian intervention has been controversial in internationalrelations both when it happens, and when it has failed to happen. Forexample, the case of Rwanda in 1994 exposed the full horror of inaction. Reports said that
“The United Nations Secretariat and some permanent members of the Security Council has knew that officials connected to thegovernment were planning genocide; UN forces were present, thoughnot in sufficient number at the outset; and credible strategies wereavailable to prevent, or at least greatly mitigate, the slaughter whichfollowed. But the Security Council refused to take the necessary action. That was a failure of international will at the highest level. Itsconsequence was not merely a humanitarian catastrophe for Rwanda;however, the genocide destabilized the entire Great Lakes region
C. A. J. Coady,
The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention
, United States Institute of Peace,Peace work No. 45, July 2002,p.20
The Responsibility to Protect, Report of the International Commission on Intervention & StateSovereignty, Dec. 2001,p.1

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