Law, morality and armed conflict: striking a balance on humanitarian intervention.

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Kampala International University, School of Law
‘With all the uprising happening in the world, it is important for states to understand what exactly happens before they choose to go to war with another state. When the world divided itself into superpowers, developing, and underdeveloped countries, some states assumed the role of masters and others of serfs. Under international law, the right of self-defense gives every state a right to respond to an armed attack that has already taken place. Whether it also includes a right to use force in anticipation of an attack that has not yet occurred is contested. If it does, this right is limited to preemptive use of force. Preventive war is clearly outlawed. The dominant view among normative theorists, however, is that preemption can be legitimate when it is a response to immediate threats which pose great harm and the use of force is the last the relevant question thus, is rather whether preventive war ever can be justified. As will soon become apparent, this is far more controversial. The crucial questions for the assessment of the justice of humanitarian intervention thus seems to be: Do our moral concern extend beyond our family, friends and fellow citizens to strangers abroad facing grave human rights violations? And do the needs of these strangers weight as much as the needs of family, friends, and fellow citizens? I believe so. The debate on communal integrity is mainly about when humanitarian intervention can be justified, not if. The question should be. under what circumstances intervention may be justified, rather than if it ever can be justified
A dissertation submitted as a partial requirement for the Awarding of the Bachelors of a Law Degree in Kampala International University
Law, Morality, Armed conflict