5th Pavia Graduate Conference in Political Philosophy – Abstract/Marcellino, Spoto

Cettina Marcellino, Biagio Spoto

Humanitarian Intervention: Theory and Practice

When is Humanitarian Intervention possible? It begins with the consideration that there is a continuation of violation of human rights and a sacrifice of principal needs of the subjects. Is it possible to create a list of minimum rights? Humanitarian intervention is usually discussed as an exception to the non-intervention principle. Therefore, there is a much older tradition in which the use of force is justified not only in self-defence but also to punish those things wrong and protect the innocent. We can consider how it is justified within a powerful reformulation of natural law worked out by philosophers influenced by Kant. The sovereignty is more than just a functional principle of international relations. The defence of state sovereignty does not include any claim of the unlimited power of a state to do what it wants to its own people. When the single state does not respect the rights and the people, it begins the most important task of International Community in order to establish this respect. Regarding this aspect, it is important to understand the political intervention: before the State, after, and with specific time and modality, the International Community. The framework of the Humanitarian Intervention, are the ‘new wars’ characterized by the loss of control and the disintegration of means of physical coercion. The new wars are the principal source of human rights violations, and consequently the primary cause of humanitarian intervention. Understanding the reality of the ‘new wars’ is necessary to develop a fairer theory of just humanitarian intervention. We have added to the traditional principles of” just war theory”, the principle of jus post bellum, and developed it with three criteria:

–   First criterion: ‘the respect for the occupied state authority’.

–   Second criterion: ‘fair economic reconstruction’.

–   Third criterion: ‘reconciliation and full political inclusion’.