Do human rights violations justify armed intervention into sovereign states?

The debate between human rights, state sovereignty and armed intervention for humanitarian purposes has attracted widespread international attention, and has in fact ‘generated one of the most heated discussions in [the field] of international relations’[1]. Indeed, ever since the end of the Second World War, a great amount of ink has been spilled on the question, namely whether great powers as well as major international organisations have a right to intervene and employ military measures against juridically sovereign states in cases of massive human rights abuses. While it took the society of states ‘only Hitler and the Holocaust’[2] the realisation that human rights (and their violations) are matters of international concern, during the Cold War, the topic of human rights remained subordinated to the principle of state sovereignty and military intervention to protect civilians from human rights abuses was widely regarded as an illegitimate state practice as the UN Charter ‘defined sovereignty in strict terms of inviolability and non-interference’[3].

For instance, in response to Vietnam’s military intervention in Cambodia that bought an end to the ethnic cleansing committed by the Pol Pot regime, countries such as Norway[4] and the United Kingdom[5] expressed their concern and criticized the Vietnamese government that it had jeopardised the modern international order by infringing upon the principle of domestic non-interference and external involvement in the internal affairs of a state. After the Cold War however, the concept of sovereignty and its companion principle of non-interference were repeatedly overridden by military interventions explicitly conducted to protect civilians from wholescale slaughter, and the concept of human rights has thus become in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski ‘the single most magnetic political idea of contemporary time’.[6]

This essay explores whether violations of human rights are a justifiable reason to intervene with military measures into juridically sovereign states. Since the end of the Cold War, it has become a fashionable idea to regard state sovereignty as anachronistic[7] and view fundamental human rights as ‘the new standard of civilisation’[8] overriding the norm of non-intervention and state sovereignty. Simultaneously, there has been a fundamental redefinition in the understanding of the term sovereignty: indeed, a shift from ‘sovereignty as authority’ to ‘sovereignty as responsibility’. According to this doctrine, sovereignty is a conditional right rather than an absolute right, and a state’s legitimacy is derived by its adherence to create an environment respecting the fundamental rights of its population. Given that a state is unable to do that or fails in its primary responsibility to protect its population, it loses its legitimacy as a sovereign entity and ‘the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations’.[9]

Undoubtedly, in an age of global interconnectedness, the society of states pays increased attention to the topic of human rights. Nevertheless, forcible intervention into sovereign states with the aim of enforcing human rights and protecting civilians from danger, particularly as suggested by Western states with the ‘responsibility to protect’ paradigm, in which armed intervention is undertaken on behalf of the ‘international community’, raises a number of additional questions.

First, who or what is the ‘international community’? Does it exist? Logically it has to exist because intervention is carried out in its name. However, from where does the ‘international community’ derive its interest? Who represents the international community, and most importantly ‘who determines that a state has not met its sovereign obligations and that the consequences are such that intervention to force compliance is justified’[10]

Second, do states or the “international community” have a moral duty or an obligation or even a responsibility to protect civilians from genocide? Meaning to say, do states even have to save civilians from human rights violations?

Third, what are the consequences of infringing upon state sovereignty with the aim of protecting civilians from human rights abuses? Does humanitarian intervention even work? Related to this, is armed intervention genuine? Meaning to say, what are the motivations of states to engage in humanitarian interventions?

In this essay we will examine these issues. My concern is shifting the debate away from the question whether states ‘have a right’ to intervene to the question where the responsibility lies to protect endangered people provides little to address the core of this debate, in fact, it is exacerbated by allowing great powers to cloak their interest in the language of the common good. Indeed, like scholars sceptical of humanitarian intervention, I will argue that even though we have witnessed since the end of the Cold War a gradual shift against state sovereignty, human rights violations should nevertheless not justify armed intervention into sovereign states. The reasons are as follows: a) states do not intervene primarily for humanitarian purposes b) the impossibility of finding a mechanism that determines the international will c) the use of force by infringing upon state sovereignty inevitably entails human rights abuses d) the right of self-determination is compromised by armed intervention and lastly e) internal warfare and state-making is interrelated and outside intervention hinders progressive development.

In order to show the above-mentioned position the structure of this essay is as follows: Firstly, I will shortly define the term ‘humanitarian intervention’ and how it will be used in this essay. Secondly, I will examine whether states have duties or moral obligations beyond their boarders, and whether it is morally justifiable for governments to risk the lives of their own nationals to save non-nationals from human rights violations. Thirdly, I will argue how the national interest of the intervening states determines when and where to intervene, and why the responsibility to protect doctrine, in which armed intervention is ostensibly carried out on behalf of the international community, is a Trojan horse to further the national interest of the intervening states. Fourthly, I will put forward the arguments of the advocates of the human rights discourse, and what kind of claims they raise concerning the justification of armed intervention into sovereign states. Fifthly, I will criticize the advocates of the human rights discourse by suggesting that they fail to acknowledge the ways in which violations of state sovereignty can lead to violations of human rights, and compromise the right of self-determination. Lastly, I will suggest that internal warfare and state-making is interrelated and that outside intervention hinders progressive development.

Because of the limited number of words allotted, I will not analyse the tension between human rights and state sovereignty in the United Nations Charter, or the never-ending debate between ‘restrictionists’[11] and ‘counter-restrictionists’[12] whether international law permits the use of force by a foreign actor against another state in cases of human rights violations. As Ian Hurd in his recently published brilliant monograph explicated ‘depending on one’s understanding of how international law is represented … [humanitarian intervention] is both legal and illegal at the same time’[13]. Rather our analysis here is restricted about the motivation of the intervening states, the extent to which one can say that humanitarian intervention is undertaken on behalf of the “international community”, the consequences of infringing upon state sovereignty, and whether intervention should be done at all.

Definition of Humanitarian Intervention

Before we will examine whether states have duties beyond their boarders, it is of upmost importance to clarify what is meant by the term ‘humanitarian intervention’. Humanitarian intervention is an ambiguous concept and to this date there exists no universally-agreed definition. Nevertheless for the purpose of our essay humanitarian intervention is “the use of force across state borders by a state (or group of states) aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens, without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied’[14].

By following Holzgrefe’s definition, we confine our analysis to two types of activities generally falling under the rubric of humanitarian intervention: the first, is armed intervention by a state to protect its own nationals from human rights abuses[15], and the second, is the provision of humanitarian services in the territory of another state without the consent of the ruling authority[16]. Both have at times been termed humanitarian intervention, nevertheless, rescue missions to protect a state’s own nationals from human rights abuses has is more accurately described as (extended) self-defence, and humanitarian assistance into a foreign state does not have the same impact on state sovereignty. As a result, our analysis here is limited to military interventions by a foreign actor against juridically sovereign states with the sole purpose of saving or rescuing non-nationals from human rights violations.

Duties Beyond Borders?

Having clarified how we will use the term humanitarian intervention in this essay, we now examine whether states have duties beyond their boarders. Meaning to say, is it morally justifiable for governments to risk the lives of their own nationals to save non-nationals from human rights violations. According to moralist and altruist scholars, the answer to this question is plainly evident. For them, every human being irrespective to which state they belong to, share by virtue of their common humanity ‘natural equal and universal rights’[17], and if a government violates the fundamental rights of its citizens, other states have duties and responsibilities to protect civilians in danger.

Not everyone agrees with this assertion, especially the realist school of international relations.  Indeed realists are generally sceptical of humanitarian interventions and suggest that a state’s primary responsibility in the international arena is to preserve and further the national interest,  and since armed intervention into sovereign states with the sole purpose of protecting non-nationals involves the lives of their own people and material costs, ‘genuine’ humanitarian interventions are generally seen as  imprudent[18].

A similar line of thought is outlaid by realist social contractarianism. Put succinctly, according to contractarianism, a state is an agent whose primarily obligation is to preserve the interest of its own members, or as put by Allen Buchanan ‘the justifying function of the state is the wellbeing and freedom of its [own] members. There is no suggestion that the state must do anything to serve the cause of justice in the world at large’[19].Consequently, trying to save or rescue non-nationals from human rights violations by risking the lives of one’s own citizen is according to the social contract morally wrong, since every state should first of all care for the well-being of its own members. As a result, for realists armed intervention into sovereign states should only be justifiable when it enhances the national interest of the intervening states.

How the national interest of the intervening states determines when and where to intervene, and that interventions are based on a selective basis, rather than applied to every state in which human rights violations occur, is the concern of the next section. I will also criticize the responsibility to protect doctrine in which armed intervention is ostensibly carried out on behalf of the “international community”, and will argue that it is a Trojan horse.

Humanitarian Intervention and National Interest

What is the role of the national interest in humanitarian interventions? According Krieg ‘the fewer the national interest [is] involved the more governments are inclined to remain passive’[20]. The crisis in Somalia that gave rise to the US-UN led  intervention in 1993 is a prominent example of how the national interest affects humanitarian concerns, and that government’s rarely sacrifice their soldiers in order to safe strangers from human rights abuses. For instance, after 18 American soldiers had been killed the intervention was immediately terminated, demonstrating the weaknesses of the US’s commitment to the human rights violations occurring within Somalia.

Another problem is the issue of double standards and selectivity of humanitarian interventions. Put succinctly, decisions to intervene are based on a selective basis, rather than applied to every case in which human rights occur. For instance, even though Turkey and Iraq violated with regards to the Kurdish population their fundamental rights, and even though the treatment of the Kurdish population in Turkey was much worse than that in Iraq, a humanitarian intervention in Turkey was never considered. In Iraq however, the Security Council:

  1. Condemned the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region;
  2. Demanded that Iraq, as a contribution to removing the threat international peace and security in the region, immediately end this repression and expresses the hope in the same context that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected;
  3. Insisted that Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and to make available all necessary facilities for their operations.[21]

What were the reasons why an intervention was never contemplated in Turkey, but was contemplated in Iraq, although the situation of the Kurdish population in Turkey much worse? According to MacFarlane and Weiss there are two fundamentally distinct reasons. First, Turkey is a NATO member, and secondly, America’s antipathy to Iraq[22]. Having showed how the national interest determines when and where to intervene, and that states rarely sacrifice their soldiers to prevent human rights violations occurring in other states, we now turn our attention to the responsibility to protect doctrine, in which armed intervention is ostensibly carried out on behalf of the “international community”.

Determining International Will

As was already mentioned the responsibility to protect suggest that intervention is carried out on behalf of the international community. But who or what is the ‘international community’? Does it exist? Logically it has to exist because intervention is carried out in its name. However, from where does the ‘international community’ derive its interest? Who represents the international community, and most importantly ‘who determines that a state has not met its sovereign obligations and that the consequences are such that intervention to force compliance is justified’[23] .

The obvious answer to all of these question is the United Nations. Let us critically question whether the United Nations is indeed a representative of the international community. According to Mohammed Ayoob, the United Nations is by no means a representative of the international community. Firstly, the United Nations Security Council grants 5 states, also known as permanent members [p5], a special veto right over world affairs, at the expense of the remaining players who, due to this system, merely remain spectators. As a result of the veto power, those countries who wield it can exclude any international intervention against themselves, or their friends and allies[24]. For instance, the United States has used 42 of its vetoes to stop the United Nations from condemning the human rights violations caused by Israel against Palestine[25].

Secondly, how the permanent members enhance their national interest by cloaking their interest in the language of the ‘international community’ becomes plainly evident in the military operations under Chapter VII [undertaken for humanitarian purposes]. For instance in 1994, the French had interest in Rwanda, the Americans in Haiti, and the Russians in Georgia. All of these permanent members bargained with each other and exchanged their veto in return for the favoured intervention. As a result, each of the states could intervene into their favoured area and override claims of state sovereignty.

Were these interventions motivated by humanitarian concerns or to enhance the national interest of the intervening states? Let us critically analyse the French intervention in Rwanda, and the US intervention in Haiti.

Rwanda

Although, the French government pointed out that the Rwandan armed intervention was purely motivated by a humanitarian rationale, a closer analysis reveals that it lacks credibility, and that France’s primary objective was to protect its national interests. Firstly, France actively supported the Hutu-led government of Juvénal Habyarimana against the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), even providing troops when the RPF threatened to overrun the country. François Mitterrand, the President of the French Republic, was attempting to restore the declining influence of France in Africa, and was worried that the triumph of the RPF in francophone Rwanda would bring the country under the influence of Anglophones. Consequently, France did not interfere until the later phases of the genocide. As a result, it appears to be true that the French conduct corresponds with the statist realist precondition that countries will endanger their army only to promote and protect their national interest[26].

 Haiti

Although, commonly viewed as an armed intervention to prevent the human rights abuses occurring within Haiti, a closer analysis reveals that it lacks credibility, and that the United States pursued its national interest. After the first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown by General Cedars, nearly 35.000 refugees arrived to the United States, creating a massive economic and domestic problem. President Clinton, although suggesting that the intervention in 1994 was purely motivated by a humanitarian rationale, like the French in Rwanda, the US had economic and geo-political interests, and like the French, the Americans, or more precisely the CIA, actively supported brutal dictatorships that violated the fundamental rights of the Haitians. Essentially, operation to “uphold democracy” was motivated to eliminate the growing refugee problem, and was motivated to build a democracy, in which Haiti became subordinated to the United States and its neo-liberal institutions[27]. Hence its armed intervention was a Trojan horse to further the national interest of the United States.

Having showed that the permanent members cloak their interest in the name of the ‘international community’, and that powerful states override claims of sovereignty by enhancing their interest, we now turn our attention to the supporters of humanitarian intervention, and what kind of arguments they raise concerning the justification of armed intervention into sovereign states. Afterwards, I will suggest the consequences of infringing upon state sovereignty, and that advocates of the human rights discourse fail to acknowledge the ways in which violations of state sovereignty can lead to violations of human rights.

Supporters of Humanitarian Intervention

Advocates of the human rights discourse, and those who support humanitarian interventions acknowledge the fact that states are not primarily driven by humanitarian motivations, and as a result, have made a variety of arguments that human rights violations should nevertheless justify armed interventions into sovereign states. First they reject the argument that simply because powerful states use humanitarian intervention as a tool to further their interest that the whole doctrine should be eliminated. In their view, humanitarian interventions can have real benefits, and rejecting the doctrine completely renders many people vulnerable from human rights abuses that they frequently suffer in their own government[28].

Directly related to this is the idea that the motivation of the intervening states, or whether states pursue their self-interest during and after armed interventions, or whether they cloak their interest in the language of the international community, is for the advocates of the human rights discourse, not so much of significance[29]. For them ‘what matters is not so much the nature of the motive . . . but the practical outcome of the intervention in question.’[30] Put succinctly, according to the advocates of the human rights discourse, the outcome is of importance, rather than the motivation why a state has engaged in a humanitarian intervention. Meaning to say, whether the intervening states with its military intervention was successfully able to prevent human rights abuses, and avert the humanitarian crisis.

The third objections they raise is the aforementioned issue of double standards and selectivity. For them, the fact that humanitarian interventions are biased in their application, rather than applied to every case in which human rights are being violated is not so much of importance. In fact, they suggest that the point is not where a humanitarian intervention is, but rather, that a humanitarian intervention has occurred, and that states are taking the issue of human rights violations seriously. In essence the argument goes, that a humanitarian intervention even applied selectively, is better than no intervention at all, because it helps the victims in need.

Essentially, the argument follows, that even if the doctrine of humanitarian intervention is not perfect, or even if a state’s primary motive is to pursue their national interest during humanitarian interventions, the doctrine should still be applied because without it, or a total dismissal of the doctrine, its supporters suggest, forsakes millions of people whose fundamental rights are being violated on a daily basis[31].

While these are valid points, we still have to be critical.  The next section will therefore critically evaluate the consequences of infringing upon state sovereignty. Indeed, advocates of the human rights discourse, and those who support humanitarian interventions, neglect the ways in which violations of state sovereignty can lead to massive human rights. More importantly, they also fail to acknowledge that the right of self-determination is compromised by armed intervention, and how state-making and internal warfare is interrelated, and that outside intervention hinders progressive development. As a result of this, coupled with the aforementioned analysis that a state’s primary objective in a humanitarian intervention is to promote and protect its national interest, I conclude that human rights violations do not justify armed intervention into sovereign states.

Consequences of Infringing upon State Sovereignty

The way in which violations of state sovereignty can lead to violations of human rights is often neglected, and advocates of the human rights discourse neglect the human rights abuses occurring during armed interventions. The U.S invasion in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos from 1964-1974 is a good example of how the infringement of state sovereignty can result in massive human rights abuses. One journalist even came to the conclusion that the U.S invasion was “the most appalling episode of cruelty in American history.”[32] In 1995, 21 years after the invasion, the Vietnamese government announced the death toll: over one million combatants and four million civilians had been killed during the 9 year brutal invasion of the United States[33]. Indeed, the United States carried out human rights violations on a massive scale which included but is not limited to: killing innocent civilians, torturing and raping innocent people, bombing houses, mine-laying’s and so on. According to estimates in ‘a period of nine years, the U.S dropped one plane load of bombs every eight minutes, 24 hours per days’[34]. The invasion of state sovereignty that included massive human rights abuses was ‘in actuality a mass-murder operation[35]’.

Another example of how the infringement of state sovereignty can lead to massive human rights abuses is the Indonesian invasion of East Timor which started on the 7th December 1975, and ended in late 1999. Indeed, four years after the invasion a horrific number of an estimated 100,000-180,000 East Timorese civilians and soldiers had been brutally slaughtered by the campaign that is one-third of the East Timorese population[36]. Another example of how the infringement of state sovereignty can lead to violations of human rights is the US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan became the first “War on Terror” target and the human rights violations of the Taliban government was used to justify NATO’s presence in the intervention. Nevertheless, the intervention in Afghanistan has created enormous human rights violations, completely broke down the governmental structure of an already undeveloped nation, and engendered an irreparable damage to the culture, economy and environment of Afghanistan. In fact, the military strategies of the intervention involved wholesale coercion, housing searches, bombing innocent people, and financial and military support for the sectarian and despotic militias that continue to violate the fundamental rights of the Afghan population, and kill thousands of civilians. Similarly, after the removal of the Taliban government, the infrastructure of Afghanistan was so out of order that one commentator concluded that “human rights are no more protected under the breakdown of government than they would be under a totally repressive government”[37].

The same situation can be applied Iraq. Indeed, although President George W. Bush has stated that their mission “is clear, [that is] to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein’s support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people”[38], all of the three mission’s ‘clear’ aims seem rather dubious. First, as it has been later shown there were no weapons of mass destruction. Second, the United States actively supported Saddam Hussein by providing military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq war, and lastly, the violation of state sovereignty and the intervention in Iraq had by July 2006, according to the BBC killed over 655,000 civilians[39], and the United States and its allies essentially violated the fundamental rights of the Iraqis, by for instance denying them water. [40]

The point here is that the violation of state sovereignty with military measures always involves human rights abuses, and supporters of the human rights discourse and those who support humanitarian interventions somehow magically suggest that armed intervention reduces or ends massive human rights abuses, when in fact, it only results in human rights abuses and innocent civilian killing.  More importantly, they also fail to acknowledge that the right of self-determination is compromised by armed intervention, and that state-making and internal warfare is interrelated, and that outside intervention hinders progressive development.

Self-determination and Non-intervention

The 19th century political philosopher John Start Mill in his short essay entitled “A few words on Non-intervention”[41] suggests that outsiders should not interfere when a government massacres their population, because by interfering and helping individuals to free themselves from their government, the right of self-determination is compromised. In his view a political entity or an individual must seek their own freedom, because

when a people has had the misfortune to be ruled by a government under which the feelings and the virtues needful for maintaining freedom could not develop themselves, it is during an arduous struggle to become free by their own efforts that these feelings and virtues have the best chance of springing up[42].

Indeed, for him, only when an individual or a political entity “become free by their own efforts”, without any outside interference, can true freedom prevail. Michael Walzer, the most modern advocate of Mill’s idea, suggest that ‘non-intervention is the principle guaranteeing that their success will not be impeded by an alien power’[43]. Even if a government violates the fundamental rights of its citizen, outsiders should not interfere and help individuals, because civilians will only attain self-improvement by their own efforts.

Our obligation is to respect the right of self-determination, and the rule of non-intervention, because by intervening, we are taking away their own efforts, impose ideas upon them, and most importantly show them what is right or wrong, when in reality, the realisation has to come from their own. However, there is a crucial difference between Walzer and Mill. For Walzer, there are cases in which armed intervention is justifiable and legitimate, that is when it has a just cause, is used with the right intention, as a last resort, with a reasonable hope of success, using means proportional to the ends in view, and if ordered by proper authority. For Mill on the other hand “I will go so far as to say never – be either judicious or right[44] to intervene into other states. Without going into the long-standing moral ideas, encapsulated in the “just War” tradition, I follow Mill’s ideas, simply because of the fact, that those countries who intervene use humanitarian intervention, as we have seen,  as a way to enhance their national interest, supporters of the human rights discourse forget about the massive human rights abuses occurring as a result of the infringement of state sovereignty, and that the right of self-determination is compromised by armed intervention. This brings me to my last point, namely that internal warfare and state-making is interrelated and outside intervention hinders progressive development.

State Building and Violence

Those who are familiar with the process of state-building know that war and nation-formation is interrelated. In fact those countries who are frequently violating state sovereignty, and aim to “protect” civilians from human rights abuses, have all struggled with internal warfare at some point, but this struggle essentially resulted in fully-fledged political organs. Take for instance the continent Europe as an example. It took years, even centuries of warfare that the political entities within Europe signed the Peace Treaty of Westphalia. Even afterwards, violence was an integral part of state-formation and statehood, indeed, it was nothing less than an ‘essential instrument for the imposition, maintenance, and legitimisation of political order’[45]. It would therefore be impractical to presume that those political entities that have emerged after World War II, and after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, have the ability to establish their state without the use of violence. Advocates of the human rights discourse, and those who support humanitarian intervention, expect the newly emerged states to develop in a rapid period of time, however this is practically impossible, since not only violence and state-making is interrelated, but also because it took centuries for the Western European and North American countries to develop. Indeed as suggested by Mohammed Ayoob ‘One wonders if Western European and North American states would have successfully completed their state building endeavours and eventually emerged as democratic states, if they had the UN Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and now the UN Security Council breathing down their necks during the crucial phases of their state making endeavours’[46]

Conclusion

This essay has demonstrated that human rights violations do not justify armed intervention into sovereign states. I made a variety of claims, and analysed the motivation of the intervening states, the extent to which one can say that humanitarian intervention is undertaken on behalf of the “international community”, the consequences of infringing upon state sovereignty, and whether intervention should be done at all. Indeed, my concern was that that those countries that intervene cloak their interest in the language of the community, and are rarely sacrificing their own soldiers to save and rescue non-nationals from human rights abuses, and are motivated by calculations of the national interest rather than by humanitarian concerns. We then analysed the arguments of the supporters of the human rights discourse and the proponents of humanitarian interventions and what kind of claims they raise concerning the justification of armed intervention sovereign states. Afterwards we criticised the supporters of the human rights discourse by suggesting that the infringement of state sovereignty can lead to violations of human rights, and that supporters of the human rights discourse neglect the ways in which armed intervention has resulted in massive civilian killings and violations of human rights abuses.  We then looked at the idea of self-determination, and that outside intervention hinders progressive development. Lastly, we concluded that advocates of the human rights discourse expect the newly emerged states to develop in a rapid period of time without the use of violence, however, violence is an integral part of state-making, and nation-formation.

References
[1] Jennifer M. Welsh. “Introduction” in Welsh, Jennifer M., ed. Humanitarian intervention and international relations. (Oxford University Press, 2003) pp: 1

[2] Henkin, Louis. “That S Word: Sovereignty, and Globalization, and Human Rights, Et Cetera.” Fordham L. Rev. 68 (1999): pp.1

[3] Michael Ignatieff. “Human rights, Sovereignty and Intervention” in Human rights, human wrongs: the Oxford Amnesty lectures 2001. (Oxford University Press, 2003).pp: 52

[4] “The domestic policies of that Government cannot – we repeat cannot – justify the actions of Vietnam over the last days and weeks. The Norwegian Government firmly rejects the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State”. The Norwegian government cited in International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Gareth J. Evans, and Mohamed Sahnoun. The Responsibility To Protect: Research, Bibliography, Background (International Development Research Centre, 2001): pp.58

[5] “Whatever is said about human rights in Kampuchea, it cannot excuse Vietnam for violating the territorial integrity of Democratic Kampuchea”, ibid, pp; 59

[6] Zbigniew Brzezinski cited in Forsythe, David P. “Human Rights in a Post-Cold War World.” Fletcher F. World Aff. 15 (1991): pp. 55

[7] For an in-depth and powerful analysis of how State Sovereignty has become anachronistic by the new found proclivity of Human Rights see in particular Reisman, W. Michael. “Sovereignty and human rights in contemporary international law.” American Journal of International Law (1990): pp: 866-876.

[8] Donnelly, Jack. “Human rights: a new standard of civilization?.” International Affairs 74.1 (1998):   pp: 1-23.

[9] International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Gareth J. Evans, and Mohamed Sahnoun. The  Responsibility To Protect: Research, Bibliography, Background, pp. 31

[10]Gene M. Lyons and Michael Mastandno “Introduction” in Lyons, Gene M., and Michael Mastanduno. Beyond Westphalia?: State sovereignty and International Intervention. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995): pp: 8

[11]Restrictionists base their position on Article 2(4) which explicitly states that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations’. Similarly they point to Article 2(7) which states that ‘Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state’. As a result for them, sovereignty and non-interference are the overarching principles for the maintenance of the international order and humanitarian intervention is therefore bound to be illegal.

[12] Counter-restrictionists on the other hand argue that international law does not forbid the use of force by a foreign actor when another government violates the fundamental rights of its citizens. In fact counter-restrictionists argue, that Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter only bans the use of force against the “territorial integrity” and “political independence” of another state, and since humanitarian does not violate the territorial integrity and political independence of another states, humanitarian intervention is legal. Similarly they also point to Article 1(3) which explicitly states that one of the purposes of the United Nations is ‘in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion’. As a result for them because of the Charter’s emphasis on the protection of human rights, humanitarian intervention is permitted because it does not violate international law.

[13] Hurd, Ian. “Is humanitarian intervention legal? The rule of law in an incoherent   world.” Ethics & International Affairs 25.03 (2011): pp: 293

[14] J. L. Holzgrefe, ‘The Humanitarian Intervention Debate,’ in J. L. Holzgrefe and Robert O. Keohane eds.,  Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas (Cambridge University Press, new York, 2003): pp.18

[15] “I assume that humanitarian intervention … is a short-term use of armed force by a government … for the protection from death or grave injury of nationals of the acting State … by their removal from the territory of the foreign State.” R. Baxter cited in ibid, pp: 18

[16] “Such activities fall under the definition because they involve the intervention of outside parties in a state without its consent, with the states purpose of preventing human rights abuses and alleviating a humanitarian crisis”. Conlon, Justin. ‘Sovereignty vs. human rights or sovereignty and human rights?.’ Race & class 46.1 (2004): pp: 77

[17] Hunt cited in Bellamy, Alex J. “Kosovo and the Advent of Sovereignty as Responsibility.”Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 3.2 (2009): pp:165

[18] Bellamy, Alex J., and Nicholas J. Wheeler. “Humanitarian intervention in world politics.” The Globalization of World Politics (2008): pp: 522-538.

[19] Allan Buchanan cited in Jennifer M. Welsh. “Taking Consequences Seriously: Objections to Humanitarian Intervention”, p. 59

[20] Krieg, Andreas. “National Interest and Altruism in Humanitarian Intervention” in Motivations for humanitarian intervention: theoretical and empirical considerations. (Springer Science & Business Media, 2012) pp: 44

[21] UN Security Council cited in Pease, Kelly Kate, and David P. Forsythe. “Human rights, humanitarian intervention, and world politics.” Human Rights Quarterly (1993): pp:303.

[22] MacFarle and Weiss in Ayoob, Mohammed. “Humanitarian intervention and state sovereignty.” The International Journal of Human Rights 6.1 (2002): 81-102.

[23] See note 10

  [24] Ayoob, Mohammed. “Humanitarian intervention and state sovereignty.”, pp: 81-102

[25]  Security Council Report. “In Hindsight: The Veto”. Available at  http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2013-11/in_hindsight_the_veto.php. [Accessed on 5th November 2015]

[26]Bellamy, Alex, and Nicholas J. Wheeler. “Humanitarian intervention in world politics.” pp: 522-538.

[27] Conlon, Justin. ‘Sovereignty vs. human rights or sovereignty and human rights?.’ pp: 77-99

  [28] ibid

  [29] Bellamy and Wheeler. “Humanitarian intervention in world politics.” pp: 522-538

 [30] Kritsiotis in Conlon ‘Sovereignty vs. human rights or sovereignty and human rights?.’ pp: 77-99

                    [31]  ibid

[32] Anonymous journalist cited in Davidson Gail, “Crime and Punishment: An End to Impunity?”, pp:5.

[33] Ibid,

[34] My emphasis, in Ibid

[35] Conlon, Justin. ‘Sovereignty vs. human rights or sovereignty and human rights?.’ pp: 87

[36]  Ibid

[37] My emphasis, in Ibid, pp:95

[38] President George W. Bush discusses beginning of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, p. 1. Available at http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030322.html  [Accessed on 12th November 2015]

[39] BBC News, 2006 ‘Huge Rise in Iraqi death tolls.

Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6040054.stm . [Accessed on 12th November 2015]

[40] O’Huiginn, Daniel, and Alison Klevnas (2005) ‘Denial of Water to Iraqi Cities’ in Jeremy Brecher, Jill Cutler, and Brendan Smith (eds.) In the name of democracy: American war crimes in Iraq and beyond (New York: Metropolitan Books), pp.55-58.

[41] Mill, John Stuart. “A few words on non-intervention.” New England Review(2006): 252-264.

[42] Ibid, p. 258

[43] Michael Walzer cited in Donnelly, J “Humanitarian Intervention against Genocide” in Universal Human Rights In Theory & Practice 2nd Edition, 2003 (Cornell University Press): pp: 245

[44] Mill, John Stuart. “A few words on non-intervention”, p. 6.

[45] Ayoob, Mohammed. “Humanitarian intervention and state sovereignty.” , p. 93

[46] Ibid , p.94

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