Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE credits
As human beings, we are all governed by our innate instinct that to kill another human being, or to just inflict pain on another, is to go against what makes us human. Still, it happens every day, far and near. Some of these killings happens in war-like situations, where atrocities against humanity occur. The international community has since the founding of UN in 1945, a duty to intervene where crimes against the human rights occur. This is a difficult task, because, in order to intervene and help those in need, the situation might postulate states violating states sovereignty. This is a problem.
Hence, the main aim of this study is to investigate how a state can justify intervening in a foreign country in the light of human rights and state sovereignty.
In order to do this, the theories of sovereignty, nature rights, human rights and intervention has been applied upon the empirical material of USA’s invasion of Iraq, also named, Operation Iraqi Freedom. To execute the analysis, an idea centered analytical method was used. The two questions that guided this study lies both on an theoretical and empirical level. The previous question looked into how states can defend their actions when intervening on basis of the human rights, in a foreign state. The latter question investigates USA’s reasoning and justification, in regards to sovereignty and human rights, prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The study showed that the human rights, as well as liberal values, such as, freedom and liberty were the prevailing arguments in America’s reasoning.
The international community’s agreement on international law and respecting the principle of self governance, has, in recent years, put a clear tension on the relation between sovereignty and humanitarian intervention.
This goes to show that in questions of sovereignty vs. human rights, the latter comes out on top in international law. At least in the case of USA’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Though, the question on who has the right and when it is right to intervene is very much circumstantial, and so, the discussion ought to continue.
Keywords: sovereignty, nature rights, human rights, intervention, Iraq, USA, Operation Iraqi Freedom, White House
2011. , 42 p.