Ghuna Bdiwi

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Laws (LLM)

First Advisor

Farrow, Trevor C. W.


The responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine allows the international community to intervene for humanitarian purposes in events of massive violations of human rights. However, the legality of humanitarian intervention has received considerable critical attention because of its direct conflict with two fundamental norms in international law: the prohibition of the use of force, and the principle of state sovereignty. In Syria, mass atrocity crimes are escalating on a daily basis. Until now, international efforts have failed to find a peaceful formula to stop the crisis. International law allows the Security Council to authorize humanitarian intervention under the power of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Politically, however, the Security Council is deadlocked. This study concludes that humanitarian intervention is illegal or, at best, its legality is ambiguous. The research stresses the need to re-evaluate the international legal norms to respond to overwhelming humanitarian necessity.