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International Law, Dignity, Democracy, and the Arab Spring

Jordan J. Paust

University of Houston Law Center

July 15, 2013

46 Cornell International Law Journal 1 (2013)
U of Houston Law Center No. 2012-A-3

Various individual and group participants in the Arab Spring have noticeably embraced and reaffirmed predominant patterns of human expectation and claims occurring worldwide regarding individual dignity and worth, self-determination of peoples, related human rights with respect to relatively free and genuine participation in governmental processes and the standard of legitimacy of governments, democracy as a universal core value, and the right of rebellion or revolution and the concomitant right of a given people to seek self-determination assistance. As documented, each of these forms of human expectation and claim has a present legal and policy mooring in basic international legal instruments, including the United Nations Charter and a number of authoritative human rights instruments. This article also contains a section near the end on the propriety of U.S. and NATO use of force in Libya to protect civilians and to support regime change or self-determination assistance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: Arab Spring, democracy, Egypt, human dignity, human rights, International Covenant, legitimate government, Libya, political oppression, rebellion, regime change in Libya, revolution, Security Council, self-determination, Syria, tyranny, U.N. Charter, Universal Declaration, use of force, Yemen

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Date posted: January 25, 2012 ; Last revised: April 2, 2014

Suggested Citation

Paust, Jordan J., International Law, Dignity, Democracy, and the Arab Spring (July 15, 2013). 46 Cornell International Law Journal 1 (2013); U of Houston Law Center No. 2012-A-3. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1991432

Contact Information

Jordan J. Paust (Contact Author)
University of Houston Law Center ( email )
4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States
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