Udegbulem, V. M.
Obidimma, E. O. C.
Sovereignty is one of the basic organizing principles of the contemporary international system. International law forbids the use of force except for purposes of self-defence and collective enforcement action authorized by the United Nations Security Council. Human rights, on the other hand, are rights which citizens enjoy by virtue of being human. These rights are subject to the domestic jurisdiction of states. But human rights are now seen as rights subject of international law and enforceable by the international community thereat. The idea of protecting human rights in another sovereign state has thus created conflict between sovereignty and humanitarian intervention. This dissertation has adopted the doctrinal method and discovered that this new practice has brought about a substantial alteration in the concept of sovereignty as well as the position of the state in international law. The dissertation found as a fact that the absence of any provision in the UN Charter for humanitarian intervention is the cause of the conflict between sovereignty and intervention and that whereas there are provisions protecting sovereignty in international law, there are no such provisions for humanitarian intervention under the UN Charter. The dissertation concluded that any humanitarian intervention must be with the consent of the host state, and in the absence of such consent, the intervention must be approved by the United Nations Security Council to discourage abuse of power. It recommended a reform of the United Nations Charter to incorporate a legal framework for humanitarian intervention.