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Adapting Traditional Humanitarian Law To Sanctions

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Chapter Summary

The reflections in this chapter relate to sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter, although they probably offer useful suggestions for other sanctions regimes of a less-binding nature at the universal level (those adopted by the General Assembly or other high-level collective international organizations). The author's bias is that economic sanctions, like other conflict measures, should not be encouraged at levels lower than this and ultimately ought to be banned in the interests of orderly international governance, except where adopted by collective organizations and for collectively acceptable objectives. Sanctioning parties cannot be expected to accept humanitarian mitigation measures that seriously vitiate the effectiveness of sanctions while providing no real benefits to civilian populations. Finally, there is the issue of sanctions that aim at the long-term debilitation of the target economy.

Keywords: civilian populations; economic sanctions; humanitarian law; humanitarian mitigation measures; UN Security Council



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