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The Legality of Interventions of a Humanitarian Nature with a Special Focus on the Libyan Intervention

ADAMS, Verity Louise Jessop (2013) The Legality of Interventions of a Humanitarian Nature with a Special Focus on the Libyan Intervention. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis considers the legality of interventions based on humanitarian grounds, with especial reference to the 2011 intervention in Libya. The underlying principles of international law are those of sovereignty and non-intervention; thus, in order to defend humanitarian interventions and those made under the responsibility to protect, there is a much higher legal hurdle to overcome. This study closely examines the development of the peremptory norms of non-intervention and sovereignty contained in United Nations Charter Article 2(4), the prohibition on the use of force therein, and the extent to which State practice and opinio juris support a conclusion that a humanitarian intervention international norm has developed. It is advanced that, to date, State practice does not demonstrate this. Rather, States have repeatedly asserted that interventions justified solely on humanitarian grounds violate the Article 2(4) prohibition on the threat and use of force and the customary principle of non-intervention. In addition to commenting upon interventions in the domestic affairs of other States in the twentieth century, the creation of the responsibility to protect, by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001, is examined. It is proposed that the resultant adoption of the doctrine at the 2005 World Summit stripped it of its normative framework, thereby removing its ability to develop into an international norm.
A critical analysis of the Libyan intervention is undertaken, focussing on NATO’s exceeding Resolution 1973 (2011). The thesis concludes that the Libyan intervention lacked legality and confirmed fears that interventions on humanitarian grounds were prone to abuse. The result, as evidenced in Syria, is a refusal by States to allow authorisation of Chapter VII measures. Accordingly, the paper concludes that intervention on humanitarian grounds remains illegal in international law and that, after Libya, an international norm is unlikely to develop in the foreseeable future.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Jurisprudence
Keywords:humanitarian intervention ";" responsibility to protect ";" R2P ";" Libya ";" Syria ";" Chapter VII
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Law, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Jan 2014 10:35

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