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Humanitarian Intervention

Humanitarian Intervention and the Principle of Sovereignty: One or the Other?

Rishma Mehta

The doctrine of humanitarian intervention is one of the most contested topics in international law. There are strong and varied opinions about whether such intervention is or should be legal. This paper studies these different opinions by referring to case studies, academic commentaries, and principles such as the principle of Sovereignty and Responsibility to Protect which are closely linked to the doctrine. In this article, the current law is reviewed, followed by the far-reaching implications of legalising humanitarian intervention under wider themes of social justice such as fairness, citizenship, and equality. This paper argues that no change should be made to international law which currently prohibits humanitarian intervention and deems it illegal. The purpose of this piece is to demonstrate the fact that the principle of sovereignty, a fundamental principle of International law, cannot be upheld if humanitarian intervention was to be legalised. I will consider the wider implication of this, through elements of social justice such as fairness, equality, and citizenship amongst countries..

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