Humanitarian Intervention

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Sovereignty and the nation state had been an important aspect of the international legal order since the creation of the Westphalian state . It had been described as the independent and unfettered power of a state within its territory and had been the foundation of interstate relations and world order, for centuries . It became even more important in a post-colonial world. Indeed it was accepted by the International Court of Justice(ICJ) that the raison d'être for de-colonisation is the principle that people or nations have a right of self-determination . The newly decolonised states considered an intervention rule to be contrary to the right of self-determination as it would give powerful states the authority to interfere in their affairs…show more content…
In the 1990s the UN was involved, through action or inaction, in a number of humanitarian interventions. It started with the creation of a safe haven in Iraq for the Kurds and the decade ended with Australian intervention in East Timor. The lack of effective action in Rwanda leading to the killing of 800000 people in 100 days has means that very few people today support a complete non-interventionist approach. It is more or less agreed upon that humanitarian intervention can be justifiable in the extreme circumstances to end massive human suffering . After Rwanda the main cause for concern and debate has been about who should intervene and when. Eventually the divisiveness of Kosovo encouraged Secretary General Kofi Annan to ask for a new way of looking at this issue…show more content…
Indeed the Outcome document is considered a watered down version of the original ICISS report and has been referred to as ‘R2P lite’ . Michael Byers declares that ‘in search for international consensus, the content was stripped out of the responsibility to protect, leaving the legal constraints on humanitarian intervention firmly in place. ’ Alex Bellamy questioned whether ‘in order to secure consensus, the concept’s advocates have abandoned many of its central tenets.’ However, Gareth Evans who is one of the co-chairs of the ICISS report, categorically defends the Outcome Document and says that it ‘does not vary from the core R2P principles in any significant way.

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