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Ever since the end of the Cold War, the idea has gained ground that there is a right or a duty to intervene in the internal affairs of other states. This can be for humanitarian reasons or in the name of UN Security Council Resolutions. According to this new doctrine, international law should be enforced by means of military violence and international criminal law can be used to indict.

These claims stand in contrast to the hitherto existing principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, which is both an established principle of customary international law and also enunciated in the UN Charter.

The purpose of this Project is to provide critical analysis of the burgeoning doctrine of interventionism.  Ever since the end of the Cold War, powerful states have given themselves the right to intervene in the internal affairs of weak ones both militarily and judicially.  Various pretexts are invoked – the need to enforce UN Security Council resolutions, to prevent humanitarian catastrophes or human rights abuses, or to maintain peace.

Interventionism has received legal basis with the creation of supranational criminal tribunals and with the 2005 General Assembly Resolution on the so-called “right to protect”.  From Yugoslavia to Libya via Iraq and Afghanistan, these theories have now been put into effect.

But how true are the claims made in favour of interventionism and how effective is it?  Were civilian lives really saved in Libya?  Did the creation of an international criminal tribunal bring peace to Yugoslavia?  Were the United States and Britain justified in invoking UN Security Council resolutions in justification of their 2003 attack on Iraq?

On this site you will find information about the legal structures which have been created for interventionist purposes, as well as critical analysis of actual military interventions.

For information about the Centre’s officers, click on Contact Us.