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R2P and Humanitarian Intervention in a Historical Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Looking more closely at Responsibility to Protect (R2P) it is not possible to deny the strong conceptual and historical relationship with humanitarian intervention. Compared to present international law doctrine that of early times could refer only to a very limited extent to positive norms. This chapter shows that the roots of the concept of humanitarian intervention go far back to the past, to ancient times, and were closely connected with the idea of the "just war". Greece's fight for independence between 1821 and 1830 was a precedent evidencing many elements that were characteristic also of later cases of humanitarian intervention. The philosophy underlying the Greek intervention was further elaborated upon in the Lebanon intervention of 1860/1861. The modern concept of R2P certainly presents a milestone of epochal dimensions in international law, but it also cannot be denied that this approach builds on developments and experiences of the past.

Keywords: Greek intervention; humanitarian intervention; international law; just war; Lebanon intervention; Responsibility to Protect (R2P)



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