The protection of human rights is now considered as an important element of International Law. However, if there are frequent calls for "humanitarian interventions" (that is "coercive action against a state to protect people within its border from suffering grave harm" ) like in Darfur, and if the debate concerning this notion has a long history, the real emergence of modern humanitarian interventions is relatively recent. The concept has been criticized and challenged, it has evolved and several notions are almost synonymous: "right of intervention", "humanitarian intervention" and now "responsibility to protect". • The contrasted etymology of the notion of "humanitarian intervention"
The first use of the notion of "humanitarian intervention" can be found in the actions organized by the European "Holy Alliance" in 1815 against the Ottoman Empire, "in favor of presumably persecuted Christian populations."
[...] Its report responsibility to protect” challenges traditional conception of sovereignty and humanitarian interventions.] Responsibility to Protect engaging civil society (url: http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org) [This website intends to promote the recommendations of the ICISS report and provides up-to-date information on the Responsibility to Protect, its use by the UN, and links to important UN documents and press releases.] Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, Responsibility to Protect”, in Foreign Affairs, Nov.-Dec Hans Köchler, Use of Force in the NIO: on problematic nature of the concept of ‘humanitarian intervention'”, in International Law and Interventionism in the World Order'. [...]
[...] For the first time, NATO (which claimed that it was enforcing former resolutions) used humanitarians grounds to justify its action.(NATO Press release 1999/040) Belgrade took the case before the ICJ claiming that there was no right to humanitarian intervention and that even in such a case, the intervention was however not one. The Independent International (“Goldstone”) Commission concluded that NATO's action in using force against Yugoslavia, although not strictly legal, was “legitimate”. Clinton who had publicly apologized for the absence of US reaction in Rwanda and European leaders could not and wait” for an obvious genocide. [...]
[...] But the responsibility to protect has been recognized officially for the first time in 2006 by the Security Council (SC Res and 1706). There is however still no legal recognition and that process would surely face oppositions and difficult negotiations. Bibliography Books Bederman, David J., International Law Frameworks, (Foundation Press: New York) general textbook of international law, providing the basic background for the study of the “responsibility to protect”, focusing on the Kosovo crisis.] Gray, Christine, International Law and the Use of Force, (Oxford University Press: Oxford) general analysis of the conditions of the use of force in international law. [...]
[...] Anne Orford, Reading Humanitarian Intervention Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law, p UN Secretary General's High Level Panel, A more secured world: our shared responsibility. United Nations, UN Charter, art. 2(7). John F. Murphy, The United States and the Rule of Law in International Affairs, p Hans Köchler, Use of Force in the new international order: on problematic nature of the concept of ‘humanitarian intervention'”, in International Law and Interventionism in the World Order'. From Iraq to Yugoslavia, p.129. [...]
[...] Most states had refused to use it as a legal justification, like for instance the intervention of India in Bangladesh (1971) or Vietnam in Cambodia and they continued to do so in the 1980s (France and the United Kingdom officially rejected this doctrine, and several UN resolutions had explicitly excluded in absolute terms the right to intervene and made no provision for humanitarian interventions). The use of force made by the US, the UK and France in 1991 on the basis of the Resolution 688 of the Security Council to protect Shiite and Kurd population against the repression organized by Saddam Hussein can be seen as the first organized modern humanitarian intervention, even if the concept was not explicitly used and the legal justification was debatable. [...]
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