Between Law-Breaking and Law-Making: Syria, Humanitarian Intervention and 'What the Law Ought to Be'

18 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Carsten Stahn

Carsten Stahn

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

Date Written: October 22, 2013

Abstract

The Syrian crisis illustrates the struggles of international law to cope with injustices and violations of legal norms, including the ban of the prohibition of chemical weapons. The Security Council has been blocked over two years, due to an irresponsible use of prerogatives that are out of time. This has created dilemmas of protection. This article examines claims relating to ‘humanitarian intervention’ raised in the Syrian context. It questions whether greater flexibility towards military strikes or an ‘affirmative defense to Art. 2 (4)’ offers a proper remedy to deal with this dilemma. It argues that a case-by-case logic, with a differentiated matrix of assessment, provides a more promising way forward than claims for new regulation.

Keywords: Use of force, Syria, Humanitarian Intervention, Collective security, Justification, Mitigation

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Stahn, Carsten, Between Law-Breaking and Law-Making: Syria, Humanitarian Intervention and 'What the Law Ought to Be' (October 22, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2343582

Carsten Stahn (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies ( email )

Leiden University Law Faculty
P.O. Box 9520
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

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