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Vattel's 'Law of Nations ' and the Principle of Non-Intervention

Vattel's 'Law of Nations ' and the Principle of Non-Intervention <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The paper attempts to show that Vattel established a duty of sovereigns not to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Although Vattel did not use the terms 'interference' or 'intervention' in any technical sense of the term, it seems justified to see him as an early proponent of what is called today the principle of non-intervention. This will be evidenced by reviewing how Vattel rejected some of the arguments put forward by previous theorists of just war (Gentili, Grotius) who defended the right of European states to intervene in states of the New World in order to punish gross violations of the law of nature and nations. Arguing that the laws of war ought to be applied in reciprocal manner, Vattel questioned the distinction between 'civilized' and 'barbarian' nations on which these previous theorists relied. For him, the true 'barbarians' were those nations who fought wars without even attempting to publicly justify their behaviour.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Grotiana Brill

Vattel's 'Law of Nations ' and the Principle of Non-Intervention

Grotiana , Volume 31 (1): 69 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0167-3831
eISSN
1876-0759
DOI
10.1163/187607510X540222
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The paper attempts to show that Vattel established a duty of sovereigns not to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. Although Vattel did not use the terms 'interference' or 'intervention' in any technical sense of the term, it seems justified to see him as an early proponent of what is called today the principle of non-intervention. This will be evidenced by reviewing how Vattel rejected some of the arguments put forward by previous theorists of just war (Gentili, Grotius) who defended the right of European states to intervene in states of the New World in order to punish gross violations of the law of nature and nations. Arguing that the laws of war ought to be applied in reciprocal manner, Vattel questioned the distinction between 'civilized' and 'barbarian' nations on which these previous theorists relied. For him, the true 'barbarians' were those nations who fought wars without even attempting to publicly justify their behaviour.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

GrotianaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: SOVEREIGNTY; PRINCIPLE OF NON-INTERVENTION; DOCTRINE OF PUNISHMENT; LAW OF NATURE; JUST WAR THEORY; HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION

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