What Are the Best Legal Arguments For and Against Military Intervention in Libya?
Question to OJ readers. Suppose that you were the chief legal advisor to the US DOS, or to the UK foreign minister, or to NATO, or some country or coalition in which there is active discussion about armed intervention on humanitarian grounds in Libya, for the express purpose of preventing attacks upon the civilian population. What would you regard as the best legal arguments available today that would legally permit intervention as well as the arguments against, ie, arguments that would legally preclude it? Under intervention here, let us include both a no-fly zone enforced militarily as well as any intervention on the ground that goes beyond simply rescue of one’s own nationals.
Another way to frame this is to ask what the application, if any, of R2P might be – what is its status as a legal position today, and also whether there are other legal grounds apart from R2P as currently discussed on which to base intervention.