Intervention

The concept of noninterference was preserved in classical international law, which indicated that no state should engage directly or indirectly in the internal affairs of another state. In this case, according to Oppenheim, intervention meant violent, coercive, or dictatorial involvement that hampered the target state’s control over the subject matter at hand. Hans Kelsen pointed out that pure and simple intervention was not prohibited.

Intervention can be direct or indirect depending on its nature. Direct intervention mainly involves the use of force against the target. Indirect intervention on the other hand does not require force. It can be subversive implying the use of technology and media, economic with respect to imposition of economic restrictions and diplomatic involving dialogue and mediation. In international law, intervention is understood as interference by another state or a group of states in the domestic matters of another state. Since the World War II the principle of non-intervention has become of utmost importance.

The UN charter prohibits intervention by players of the international community through articles 2(4) and 2(7). Article 2 (4) refrains the states from intervening in the matters of another state by using force or threat against the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of the target state. Article 51 is an exception to this provision which confers upon all states the right to individual or collective self defence. This right is available in the case of an armed attack. It exists till the security council has taken any action and the security council must be reported about the act. It is subject to review by the same and does not affect the responsibility of the Security Council to protect international peace and security.
It is important to understand this right along with the propositions made by Mr. Webster in the famous case ‘The Caroline’, 1841. The former secretary of the USA asserted that the necessity of self defence must be instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment of deliberation. Also, the act of self defence must be proportionate to the initial act. In the case of weapons of mass destruction or nuclear weapons, the United Nations Security Council might step in and then the act of self-defence must stop in order to protect international peace and security.
Article 2(7) prevents UN from intervening in the domestic affairs of another state. Chapter 7 of the UN charter holds some grounds where intervention is permissible. The UNSC can intervene collectively on humanitarian grounds to protect citizens subject to human rights violations when the national authorities are unable or unwilling to protect them. For example UN intervened in Iraq in the year 1991 on behalf of Kurdish people who were subject to political repression.

UN can also intervene on the ground of civil war when it escalates to threaten international peace and security. The Libyan civil war of 2011, the Congo civil war of 1960, the Yugoslavian war and recently the Israel and Palestine conflict are a few examples where the UN intervention halted aggression. Another ground which has not been practically implemented yet is the environmental catastrophes. The UN security council can intervene in cases where environmental catastrophes threatens international peace and security.


It is clear that the only instances where intervention is legally valid is self defence and the protection of international peace and security collectively. The principle of non-intervention is A fairly old principle dating back from the Roman Empire. However in modern times it has become a binding principle of international law and has become jus cogen. Neither UN nor the states can intervene in the domestic jurisdiction of another state. However, this principle is not absolute and in exceptional cases intervention is permissible in order to protect international peace and security.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign ā€œBalancing Lifeā€and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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