Advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention From the 1860s onwards, international law became an academic discipline in its own right in Europe and the Americas, taught separately from philosophy, natural law or civil law, and came to be written by professional academics or theoretically inclined diplomats. 1 Until then what existed was the droit public de l’Europe or ‘external public law’. Britain in particular had to
This book is an attempt at a comprehensive presentation of the history of humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century, the heyday of this controversial doctrine. It starts with a brief presentation of the present situation and debate. The theoretical first part of the book starts with the genealogy of the idea, namely the quest for the progenitors of the idea in the sixteenth and seventeenth century which is a matter of controversy. Next the nineteenth century ‘civilization-barbarity’ dichotomy is covered and its bearing on humanitarian intervention, with its concomitant Eurocentric/Orientalist gaze towards the Ottomans and other states, concluding with the reaction of the Ottomans (as well as the Chinese and Japanese). Then the pivotal international law dimension is scrutinized, with the arguments of advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention from the 1830s until the 1930s. The theoretical part of the book concludes with nineteenth century international political theory and intervention (Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and especially J.S. Mill). In the practical second part of the book four cases studies of humanitarian intervention are examined in considerable detail: the Greek case (1821-1831), the Lebanon/Syria case (1860-61), the Balkan crisis and Bulgarian case (1875-78) in two chapters, and the U.S. intervention in Cuba (1895-98). Each cases study concludes with its bearing on the evolution of international norms and rules of conduct in instances of humanitarian plights. The concluding chapter identifies the main characteristics of intervention on humanitarian grounds during this period and today’s criticism and counter-criticism.
In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.
The just war doctrine The original just war doctrine was not concerned with intervening in other states for humanitarian reasons, but with providing just reasons for resorting to an inter-state war. It was only by the sixteenth century, coinciding with the birth of international law, then known as jus gentium or law of nations, under the sway of natural law, that support for those suffering from tyranny and maltreatment was seen as one of the
formal structure of international law. It not only claims a ‘soft’ influence over states to take human rights into account but, in some instances, to demand compliance and declare a duty to obey. The norms of international law function as a higher law vis-à-vis that of states and there is an increasing number of treaty-based norms that obligate all states, whether or not they have signed the treaty in question. These include prohibition on genocide, as well as
Contrary to international law, international political theory and political philosophy paid scant attention to the ethics of intervention in the long nineteenth century. 1 As for humanitarian intervention per se, there is nothing, apart from cursory remarks by John Stuart Mill and Giuseppe Mazzini. On the wider question of intervention and non-intervention we will refer to their views and to those of Kant, Hegel and Cobden. Based on today’s distinction
-reaching changes in a country that has long prided itself on welcoming asylum seekers. But, far from threatening Swedish state sovereignty, as the Swedish national government and mainstream media claimed, I show that this perceived crisis has both justified, asserted, and extended it by recourse to national and international law on the one hand, and an associative chain link between asylum seekers, illegal immigration, terrorism, and crisis, on the other. At the same time, I reveal how the perceived crisis has exposed rifts between different levels of Swedish governance, where
remedy to victims of violations in specific cases and cause the development of a body of opinions and other policy outcomes which can contribute, with authority, to defining the content of the right. In the first part of this chapter, we map out the recognition of the right to science under international law, both at the global and regional level. We then look at important international developments, and in particular, the work of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, and the emergence of an academic debate on the right to science. We then turn to
is one of the vaguest branches of international law. We are told that intervention is a right; that it is a crime; that it is the rule; that it is the exception; that it is never permissible at all’. 3 Following the Second World War the problem with intervention continued to be discussed in the international law and international relations literature. 4 In the post-Cold War era, with increasing interventionism, interest hardly diminished, the main
remained partly naturalists 10 and, more crucially, the previous universality of international law under naturalism is debatable, given the foundation of Christianity as a ‘limiting’ and ‘excluding concept’. 11 There may not be a proven causal correlation between legal positivism and Eurocentrism but there is an obvious correlation and interaction between them. 12 International law for most of the nineteenth century remained mainly the law between European states and