Consent-Based Humanitarian Intervention: Giving Sovereign Responsibility Back to the Sovereign (with Julia Brower, Ryan Liss et al.), 46 Cornell International Law Journal 499 (2013)
The repeated failure of the United Nations Charter regime to respond
to humanitarian crises— and to prevent interventions outside the regime—
has laid bare a conflict that lies at the heart of modern international law.
This failure has revealed that the twin commitments on which the post-
World War II international legal system has been built— sovereign rights
and sovereign responsibilities— are often deeply at odds. The response of
scholars to this tension has often been to choose sides in the fight. Scholars
who place greater value on human rights than state sovereignty have
sought to craft exceptions to the prohibition on the use or threat of force.
Those who place greater value on sovereignty (and, they would argue, democratic
rule of law), have rejected any humanitarian intervention not
authorized by the Security Council as illegal and on occasion have portrayed
the human rights movement as “anti-sovereigntist” and even “antidemocratic.”
In this Article, we offer another way forward— one that aims
to respect sovereign rights while helping states meet their sovereign responsibilities
and thereby alleviate the tension between the twin commitments
of the modern international legal system. Rather than seek to craft an
exception to state sovereignty to meet humanitarian aims, we argue for
empowering states to meet their sovereign responsibility through what we
call “consent-based intervention.”
Date of Authorship for this Version
Hathaway, Oona A.; Thomas, Tina; VIctor, Jacob; Brower, Julia; and Liss, Ryan, "Consent-Based Humanitarian Intervention: Giving Sovereign Responsibility Back to the Sovereign" (2013). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4824.