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Regional Organisations and ‘Humanitarian Intervention’: Towards Unilateral Enforcement Rights?

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posted on 17.03.2021, 10:55 by Stavroula Kalopsidiotou
The normative consequences of the legitimate concern for the scarcity of human rights upon the legal regime of the use of force, constitute a significant challenge for both the positivist and the policy driven international law scholars. This thesis inquires whether in the midst of increased states’ unilateralism regional humanitarian intervention constitutes an emerging legal norm, by addressing the corollary question of whether this claim finds support in the endeavours of regional organisations. It envisages to provide a systematic analysis of both actual and verbal practice of regional organisations and of the necessary opinio juris, with a view to ascertaining whether this attests the alleged rise of a new CIL rule. The analysis revolves around foundational cases of regional unilateral interventions in humanitarian crises and the constitutive instruments of regional organisations. Whilst recognising that humanitarian intervention- general and regional- encapsulates some genuine concerns, the analysis of regional endeavours allegedly informing the debate on normative legal change demonstrates not only that it has not attained the status of a binding doctrine but reveals the weak legal premises of the proposition that it is currently an emerging rule under CIL.
One of the key contributions of this work is that it revisits the current state of the influence of regional organisations vis-à-vis humanitarian intervention by considering not only their actual practice or constitutive undertakings, but both. Essentially, this thesis seeks to enhance the view that the practice of regional organisations towards the development of a new rule under CIL, has to be assessed in a principled manner. Notwithstanding the growing role of regional organisations in collective security and their growing concern over humanitarian crises, the analysis revolves around the proposition that their rights and responsibilities remain congruent to the international legal system and its making; while contesting the existence of an emerging rule for humanitarian intervention by regional organisations on the basis of the assessment of the merits of their potential contribution.



Malcolm Shaw; Eki Omorogbe; Rossana Deplano; Yassin Brunger

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School of Law

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University of Leicester

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