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Title: Humanitarian intervention under the UN Charter and contemporary international law
Author: Al-Suwaidi, Saif Ghanim Saif Obaid
Awarding Body: Aberystwyth University
Current Institution: Aberystwyth University
Date of Award: 2004
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Although contemporary international law demands the full respect of human rights, recent history continues to furnish frequent examples of man's inhumanity to his fellow man. While international law obliges respect for state sovereignty, the principle of nonintervention and non-use of force; states and the international community have sometimes responded to serious violations of human rights with the use of force, invoking the doctrine of humanitarian intervention. It is the purpose of this thesis, therefore, to examine the legality of 'humanitarian intervention', which is defined here as 'the threat or use oj armed Jorce by a state or group oj states, or an international organization without the consent oj the target state, primarily to end gross violations oj internationally recognized human rights '. To establish that there exists a right of humanitarian intervention under the UN Charter and contemporary international law it is necessary to demonstrate the validity of certain assumptions. Firstly, that such a right does not run foul of Article 2 (4) of the Charter (which establishes a broad prohibition of the use of force, subject to two exceptions: Art. 51, self defence and Art 42, actions authorized by UN Security Council), but is compatible with the clear provisions of the Article. Secondly, Article 2 (4) does not preclude unilateral actions when the collective security regime adopted by the UN seems ineffective. Thirdly, the right of humanitarian intervention can be covered by the provisions of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, particularly through an expansive interpretation of Article 39. And finally, according to state practice, especially postCharter state practice, humanitarian intervention emerges as a new and separate right under customary international law. In fact, all these assumptions can be brought altogether under one general assumption: that the prohibition of the use of force as embodied in the UN Charter is not absolute, but allows for exceptions in addition to those explicitly mentioned in its Articles 51 and 42, and that 'humanitarian intervention' constitutes one of such assumed exceptions. This study, in its first five chapters, seeks to verify whether any of these four assumptions is correct. Concluding Chapter six then attempts to sketch out some of the major implications of the analysis undertaken in the preceding five chapters and asks mainly what is to be made of the fact that certain incidents characterized as humanitarian intervention have been tolerated by the international community? Although it is tempting to argue that such tolerance is evidence that the international community has recognized the legality of 'humanitarian intervention', there are considerable arguments to the contrary. The question continues to arise therefore: what is to be made of this apparent tolerance? The chapter then focuses on whether a compromise solution to the problem of humanitarian intervention can be reached. In particular, it inquires whether it is possible and/or desirable to attempt to reconcile the conflicting norms of non-use of force (order) and protection of human rights Gustice)?
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available