Lecture 17 Humanitarian intervention

Lecture 17 Humanitarian intervention - Lecture 17...

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Lecture 17 Humanitarian Intervention I. Concepts 1. Humanitarian intervention: “a coercive action by an outside government or an authorized agent directed toward or within another State, in order to alleviate or avoid a mass humanitarian crisis.” 2. Instruments : 1) the use of force, 2) economic sanctions, and 3) international criminal prosecution Inherent tension between: Traditional commitment to state sovereignty vs. the growing commitment to the protection of basic human rights. A confrontation between two important values clusters: -- Treaty of Westphalia of 1648: the principle of state sovereignty, non-recourse to violence, the legal equality of states and respect for differing cultural traditions within countries -- Hugo Grotius (1625): “right vested in human society” to intervene in the event that a tyrant “should inflict upon his subjects such treatment as no one is warranted to inflict.” II. Evolution of humanitarian intervention 1. Post-WWII efforts to find a judicial standard to deal with war crimes and crimes against humanity - the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials; the conviction of the conflict’s instigators for war crimes, crimes against peace and against humanity itself - the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (the first time human rights and fundamental freedoms were set forth in such a detail.) - the genocide convention of 1948. - The Helsinki Accords (the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation) in 1975, which obligated the 35 signatory nations to observe certain stated human rights - The Anti-Torture Convention of 1988 2. The commitment to state sovereignty prior to the 1990s The main context of self-determination was associated with the dynamics of decolonization . - During the Cold War, no support for claims of self-determination that would shatter an existing state unless a “people” was being victimized either by genocidal behavior or through repeated crimes against humanity, 1
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and in exceptional cases, as a result of severe abuses of basic human rights targeted at a given ethnic community and sustained over a period of years; - 1970 UN General Assembly Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations among States: consigning restive minority people to existing regime in exchange for an agreed principle of order that recognized the primacy of the sovereign state within its own territory. - the conventions or the Helsinki Accords were general principles, not laws that
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course DIPL 1101 taught by Professor Huang during the Fall '07 term at Seton Hall.

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Lecture 17 Humanitarian intervention - Lecture 17...

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