Intervention - Research Guide International Law

Article 2 under 7 of the Charter of the United Nations is clear in case a recognised state is subject to an intervention: "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state". This article contains a codification of the territorial integrity of a State principle. Under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, rather than having a right to intervene in the conduct of other states, states are said to have a responsibility to intervene and protect the citizens of another state where that other state has failed in its obligation to protect its own citizens against international crimes or natural disasters. Responsibility to Protect is the name of a report produced in 2001 by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) which was established by the Canadian government in response to the history of unsatisfactory humanitarian interventions. The report sought to establish a set of clear guidelines for determining when intervention is appropriate, what the appropriate channels for approving an intervention are and how the intervention itself should be carried out. It argues that the notion of a 'right to intervene' is problematic and should be replaced with the 'responsibility to protect'.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Intervention. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's systematic classification → Peace and security: intervention and subject heading (keyword) Intervention and Non-Intervention are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.


Reference works


Leading articles


 Periodicals and Serial Publications


Systematic classification → Peace and Security, Intervention, Use of Force

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  • Olombi, J.-C., Guerre et paix: leçons de l'intervention de l'ONU en République Démocratique du Congo, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2015.

    L'objet principal de cet ouvrage est de mesurer et de comprendre les causes de la crise en RDC, depuis son accession à l'indépendance, le 30 juin 1960 jusqu'à nos jours et le rôle que joue l'ONU dans ce pays, depuis plus d'une décennie. Mission d'observation, la MONUC, devenue la MONUSCO, s'est finalement muée en une mission multidimensionnelle, sous chapitre VII, accomplissant diverses taches allant de la sécurité des populations au soutien au processus électoral, en passant par le désarmement des groupes armés locaux ou étrangers ainsi que l'appui aux réformes institutionnelles. Du fait de la persistance de groupes armés et de leur criminalisation croissante, à l'Est du pays, la doctrine opérationnelle de l'ONU a évolué, d'une classique présence rassurante sur le terrain, à une implication croissante dans les opérations offensives ciblées et limitées, en appui aux FARDC. L'auteur analyse les acquis en matière de sécurité et les actions à mener en matière de gouvernance démocratique et de stabilisation du pays.

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  • Extending the Coalition against Islamic State

    Yesterday, Turkey’s parliament has backed a motion that could allow its military to enter Iraq and Syria to join the campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants. While Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar have quickly joined the bombing campaign, Washington’s traditional Western allies had been slow to answer the call from U.S. President Barack Obama. France was the first Western country to respond, but this week national parliaments in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia have approved to join the global coalition against Islamic State too.

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  • Hague Academy Model United Nations on Drone Warfare and International Law

    Directed energy weapons, drones, self targeting bullets, mobile tactical high energy lasers, military robots, spy weapons, weapons undetectable under an x-ray scan, remote controlled insect armies, self driving tanks, robotic mules, thermal camouflage, surveillance technologies and autonomous unmanned systems are some examples of the high tech weapons and military technology that are now used during warfare. The use of this state of the art military technology raises serious ethical and legal questions: (when) is the use of drones acceptable?

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  • Interview: Dr. Christian Noack

    This month, our first time guest editor and colleague, Ms. Anna Duszczyk, invited Dr. Christian Noack from the University of Amsterdam, for an in-depth interview on the current crisis in Ukraine. Dr. Noack is an expert on Eastern European History, Media Studies and Slavonic Studies. In this interview, he will discuss his views on the current political situation in Ukraine and the role of Russia and the European Union in the crisis.

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See also

More Research guides on War, Peace and Security

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Systematic classification → Peace and Security, Intervention, Use of Force