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Just War Test? - Standards of armed interventions

Open Panel

Abstract

For the purpose of peace and justice international law and especially the United Nations Charter (UNC) provides different enforcement measures: States sovereignty -basis of interstate law- is protected by the general prohibition of the use of force (Art. 2 (4) UNC) and the principle of non- intervention as well as the right to self-defence (Art. 51 UNC). Human rights violations might be countered by humanitarian intervention (Chapter VI, VII UNC; responsibility to protect). There is mutual agreement in the international community that especially manifest human rights violations must be eliminated and if necessary be stopped by armed force. Armed force of one state against another might in this case be justified. However, humanitarian interventions might be launched for geopolitical, economical or other national interests and therefore considered to be morally impermissible. Regarding the recent history of humanitarian intervention it can be seen that legal standards are indispensable in order to set standards for the use of armed force; but those legal provisions cannot guarantee any equal application of the law or prevent that humanitarian interventions are launched by non- humanitarian reasons. Hence, humanitarian intervention might be legally justified but morally condemnable. Therefore, it must be asked if legal means are the only indicator for the determination of “just war” or if e.g. ethic or religious grounds should be primarily or additionally taken into consideration.