International Law and the Will of the People in Post-Conflict Rebuilding

32 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2009 Last revised: 16 May 2015

Date Written: November 11, 2009


To date, in spite of being included in calls for a jus post bellum, little attention has been given to the rationale, scope, or the form that new legal regulation of post-conflict rebuilding would take. To encourage and structure debate about the type of new that would be appropriate, and provide a platform for calling on states to create new law, this paper focuses on what the existing international legal framework requires in terms of a connection between the post-conflict reconstruction process and the will of the people of the host state. This is first considered in terms of the initiation of the involvement of international actors, which is dependent on the availability of international legal justification, and secondly in relation to the decision making on change and development of state and civil infrastructure, for which international human rights law is relevant. A central argument is that the ready availability of international legal justification is vital for the occurrence of international involvement, and this counsels against, in particular, modification of the rules on state consent. But the paper also illustrates a strong case for more stringent international legal regulation of governance by domestic actors that are dependent on international actors for effectiveness.

Keywords: Will of the People, Post-Conflict, Reconstruction, Rebuilding, Sovereignty, Consent, Chapter VII, International Human Rights Law, Democracy

Suggested Citation

Saul, Matthew, International Law and the Will of the People in Post-Conflict Rebuilding (November 11, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Matthew Saul (Contact Author)

Pluricourts ( email )

P.O. Box 6706
St. Olavs plass 5
0130 Oslo

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