Editor Coimbra Editora
Author(s) Maria de Assunção André Coelho Dias da Silva do Vale Pereira
Year 2009
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Synopsis The present doctoral thesis deals with the situation of humanitarian intervention in contemporary international law. Aware of the utmost difficulty that resides in the lack of a standard terminology, related to this topic, among international law experts, we begin with the definition of humanitarian intervention-related concepts (humanitarian assistance, humanitarian aid, droit d’ingérence, democratic intervention or intervention “against the tyranny” and intervention for the protection of nationals abroad) in order to propose a subsequent preliminary description of what we understand by humanitarian intervention in stricto sensu. Once humanitarian intervention supposes the use of armed force and has a specific historical dimension, in Chapter II we deal with the historical evolution of the laws of war, analysing in what way the concerns of humanitarian nature have contributed to the definition of its regime through time, beginning with moral theologians and their approach to just war. Then, we proceed with a legal approach of the issue, focusing on the founding authors of international law. This Chapter includes yet a Section II with the analysis of the “classical” cases of humanitarian intervention that occurred in 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century. Given that our main object of research is the humanitarian intervention in contemporary international law, chapter III is devoted to the study of the legal framework to which the use of force is subject to. This study leads us to an analysis of the problem from the perspective of the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, and also to the appreciation of the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice. Concurrently, we deal with the problem of the legal status of individuals in this branch of law, reporting on their increasing importance. After the setting of these essential coordinates, we will be prepared to explain what we understand by humanitarian intervention in the light of the current legal international framework, identifying the different elements of the concept.. In Chapter IV, on the hand, we analyse the cases in which international doctrine has intended to envisage instances tends to exemplify as cases of humanitarian intervention or situations in which this argument was defended by those that led the interventions, so as to clarify in what terms the concept is or isn’t accepted (through the analysis of the aroused international reactions to those interventions), on the other hand, we examine whether or not the consequences of the aforementioned interventions are positive, focusing on this analysis in two major periods: during and after cold war. Finally, in Chapter V, we evaluate the proposals for the establishment of a right to “humanitarian intervention”, giving then our own conclusion on the matter.