The responsibility to protect humanity from genocide and the coming end of U.N. Charter absolutism : moral, legal, and political implications / Geoffrey Duckworth.
The following thesis canvasses the emergence and development of a right of humanitarian intervention in the historic context of the dialectic between state sovereignty and human rights. The writer posits that the modern day dialectic is really a proxy for the centuries-old struggle between ancient conceptions of natural justice and positivist constructions of law, and investigates both to the time of the drafting of the UN Charter in order to arrive at a richer understanding of the development of opposing strands of norms and ideologies. Against this backdrop, the thesis arrives at 1989, a time of boundless optimism within the liberal democratic world. In depth case studies are conducted of the 1990's crises in Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Rwanda, and these detail the legal challenge posed by humanitarian intervention to absolutist norms of state sovereignty and non-intervention. The thesis finds that while Article 39 of the Charter has been transformed into a vehicle for multilateral armed intervention to prevent genocide—particularly after the adoption of a form of "responsibility to protect" at the September 2005 UN World Summit—the Security Council cannot be relied upon as the final resort for peoples facing genocide. The writer does not contest the fact that the preponderance of the community of nations has not yet openly recognized a right of unauthorized humanitarian intervention. Nevertheless, he concludes that state practice and opinio juris have evolved to the point where the Charter prohibition on the use of force is no longer absolute when the world's most vulnerable peoples are attacked in a manner that shocks the human conscience.
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