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Principles of sovereignty and human rights - Essay Example

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Summary
In an effort to ensure peaceful co-existence or, at least, minimise the potential for conflict and violence, the community of nations agreed upon a set of principles, or international laws, pertaining to sovereignty and the rights and limitations of states…
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Principles of sovereignty and human rights
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Principles of sovereignty and human rights

Download file to see previous pages... The principle of sovereignty holds that no nation may intervene in the affairs of another. On the other hand, international humanitarian laws hold that nation states must govern within the limits of respect for the human rights of their populace and upon the blatant violation of those rights, is rendered vulnerable to international humanitarian intervention. Even though, the previous phrasing lends to the assumption of an inherent conflict between human rights and sovereignty, this is not necessarily the case. In brief, as long as nation states adhere to the internationally recognized principles of human rights which they agreed upon and adopted through membership in the United Nations, their right to self-determination and autonomy are inviolable. It is only when they transgress upon the aforementioned do they become vulnerable to legitimate humanitarian intervention, implying infringement upon their sovereignty. Human rights and sovereignty are, accordingly, compatible and not necessarily contentious and conflicting principles. As one moves from the realm of theory to practice, however, one finds that the concept of humanitarian intervention has often been misused and abused for the purposes of justifying transgression against the sovereign rights of nations. .
A critical analysis of the concepts of the right to self-defence, justice and morality on the international stage, indicate that all of the aforementioned have repeatedly been employed as justifications for the transgression against the independence of sovereign nations, with the implication being that while not necessarily contentious, the concepts of humanitarian intervention and sovereignty have been rendered such.
Following the September 11th attacks on the United States, the British government, as did the American, sought the justification of the violation sovereignity of nations through a liberal interpretation of the doctrine of self-defence.
Already, before September 11th the world's view of the justification of military action had been changing. The only clear case in international relations for armed intervention has been self-defense But the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency. I set this out, following the Kosovo war, in a speech in Chicago in 1999, where I called for a doctrine of international community, where in certain clear circumstances we do intervene, even though we are not directly threatened. I said this was not just to correct injustice, but also because in an increasingly interdependent world, our self-interest was allied to the interests of others So, for me, before September 11th was already reaching for a different philosophy in international relations from a traditional one that had held sway since the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; namely that a country's internal affairs are for it and you don't interfere unless it threatens you, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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