International Rights versus National Sovereignty

Carl Wellman

in The Moral Dimensions of Human Rights

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744787
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827138 | DOI:
International Rights versus National Sovereignty

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines critically the way in which national sovereignty has limited and still limits the implementation of international human rights. It describes the relevance of the United Nations Charter, General Assembly resolutions, United Nations practices, and international court cases. After identifying the unresolved issues in international law, it argues that international law ought not to be based exclusively on the consent of nation-states, that individual states or coalitions of states ought not to be legally permitted to intervene by the use of military force to stop or prevent the violation of human rights without the authorization of the Security Council, and that the power of the General Assembly to call on states to intervene with coercive measures short of military force ought not to be rigidly limited.

Keywords: human rights; national sovereignty; United Nations Charter; General Assembly resolutions; United Nations practices; international court cases; intervention; military force; coercive measures; security Council

Chapter.  12441 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.