The concept of humanitarian intervention is highly contested but it is defined by Wise to be the threat or use of force across state borders by a state (or a group of states) aimed at preventing widespread and grave violations of fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens, without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied.
In legal terms NATO as a regional arrangement may intervene in respect of international peace and security, provided that actions it undertakes are consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN charter2 this is according to article53 of the UN charter. The United Nations charter prescribes conditions to be met by states when it comes to military interventions.
As states in the United Nations Charter, article 2(4) outlines the general prohibitions on the use of force. It provides that all member states shall refrain from the threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN. The charter additionally outlines exceptions to article 2(4): force used in self-defense the attack must be an armed attack; security council enforcement actions under chapter VII-The security council is authorized under article 39 to determine the existence of any...
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...perts agree that the air strikes against Kosovo by NATO were illegal because they were never authorized by the security council. However, libertarian expert cite humanitarian international law to justify NATO's actions. For example the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that NATO was justified and its actions were legitimate and that a new form of intervention was emerging- for cases involving repression of minorities that will and must take precedence over other concerns of the law of states. Thus any fragrance violations of humanitarian law, be it crimes against humanity, violations of human rights in the Geneva convention or ethnic cleansing, may provide a legitimate basis for action on the part of international community because all of these have international consequences and go well beyond sacred principles of the domestic jurisdiction of state.8
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