Humanitarian Intervention and International Law

Essay by dancinsqrl07College, UndergraduateB, May 2008

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Humanitarian Interventions are hard to define and hard to distinguish from violations of international law. Pasic and Weiss bring up many distinguishing facts in their article that separate humanitarian interventions from violations of sovereignty law. International politics are hard to regulate because of so many different governments, cultures, religions and norms in that when they are combined it is almost impossible to create a median. Topics such as this prove why states are given the right of sovereignty, otherwise known as having full control over own affairs, while also pointing out the importance of have a violation of state sovereignty be severely punishable by international law.

First off we must decide what a humanitarian intervention really is in order to proclaim it as against sovereignty or helpful to it. In the article Humanitarian Intervention by Lang, he debates different views and means about interventions and relates them to the morality of responsibility and political community in that we have to be responsible moral, a.k.a.

"You shall not stand idly by", but first must ensure that ones own political economy will not suffer from these actions. It is difficult for him to come up with a definition because there are no normative assumptions in the international community, however he states that although it is never truly complete, "mix[tures] of motives, means and outcomes determine if an intervention is humanitarian".

Eventually the definition comes to be a use of force by states to protect human rights, although doing so may restrain sovereignty and structures of international law, we "serve a moral purpose…to protect a community inside clearly defined borders"(Lang).

Seeing that interventions serve a moral purpose over political, although many do contain political aggravations, assigning it as a violation of state sovereignty seems odd. Yes it does contain the actions of other...