Law, Morality, and Armed Conflict: Preventive War and Humanitarian Intervention
Sammanfattning: In this thesis, I analyze the relationship between law and moral in the field of armed conflict, focusing on two controversial uses of force: preventive war and humanitarian intervention. I find that the legal status of humanitarian intervention is uncertain; it is hard to reconcile with the language of the UN Charter, but a more permissive norm may be developing in customary law. The legal status of preventive war is less disputed—it is simply not permissible under current international law. The legal regulation stands in stark contrast to the results of my moral analysis, as I reach the conclusion that both preventive war and humanitarian intervention can be justified under certain conditions. Since law should reflect moral values, I argue that the gap between law and moral should be closed. This can be achieved through the development of customary international law. While this process already seems to be underway in the case of humanitarian intervention, the legal future of preventive war is more uncertain.
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