Principle of the State’s Sovereignty and the Phenomenon of Humanitarian Intervention Under Current International Law

Ayman Abu Al-Haj


The development of the principles of International Law, since the formulation of United Nations Charter in 1945, has taken direction towards intervening in many areas which were considered under the exclusive jurisdiction of the individual States, where many areas of the State’s internal jurisdiction became included the matters permitting International Bodies to intervene in the State’s internal affairs. Individual states become subject to the application of the principles of International Law. The ratification of many International treaties and the emergence of many International Principles dictated by the interaction and development of International Relations led to creation of new concepts and expressions to keep up with the changes witnessed by Modern International organizations. This was clearly reflected in the principle of equality of sovereignty and the phenomenon of humanitarian Intervention. The Charter, in accordance with this international trend of thought, imposed new conditions allowing for surpassing the principle of supremacy. It is sufficient, in connection to this matter, to make reference to Chapter seven of the Charter, or to the Declarations of Human Rights, which entitles the International Community to intervene in the affairs of any State which violates the stipulations of these conventions in light of commitments made by States to this Charter. This, in turn, affected the principles of current International Law and the internal jurisdiction of the State in content and practice. The right to humanitarian intervention became very evident in recent years following the Cold War. It is established that the United Nations Organization reflects a temporary universal opinion and the first job of which is represented in maintaining international Security and peace, as stipulated in Article One of its Charter, that the respect of human rights and basic liberties and the adherence to the principles of International Law is a basic condition to maintain International Security and peace, with respect to the strong relationship between them. In order to realize the objectives of the United Nations, it was inevitable for the States to work on organizing cases of international security and peace through surrounding their activities with a group of conditions and provisions, like abiding by principles of International Law and the commitment to international standards concerning human rights and one’s humanity. States which show no adherence to international legal standards, make surpassing the principle of sovereignty legally and morally justified in order to emphasize International Legitimacy, especially if that implies grave violations of Human Rights and International Commitments. For that, this study researches the concept of National Sovereignty included in Article VII paragraph II of the United Nations Charter and to what extent is it in harmony with principles of current international Law.

Key words: National sovereignty; Humanitarian intervention; International jurisdiction


National sovereignty; Humanitarian intervention; International jurisdiction



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