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Abstract

The objective of the present study is to pinpoint the bearings of human rights on foreign interventions in internal conflicts. Specifically, its aims are twofold. First, it seeks to clarify the current legal framework regulating interventions in internal conflicts. Second, it endeavours to detect the emergence of new trends and to investigate whether they are becoming part of positive international law. Part I focuses on the evolution of the relationship of concepts that crucially set the basis of our discussion: intervention, sovereignty, and human rights. By guiding the reader through an historical survey, this part follows the development of paramount concepts and analyses their meaning and significance under the current legal framework. Having set the basis of our discussion, Part II examines interventions in favour of governments. Specifically, it investigates the traditional doctrines of intervention that were developed by the scholarship since the adoption of the UN Charter and tests them against state practice. Ultimately, this part identifies new trends that emerged over the last decades and assesses whether they have entered into positive international law. Lastly, part III is devoted to analysing interventions in favour of opposition groups. Notably, it examines the legitimacy of rebels under international law, the use of force by and against rebels recognised as legitimate, and the status of intervention in favour of such groups. This study concludes that human rights are emerging as parameter of legitimacy and that this in turn has crucial consequences on the legal framework regulating foreign interventions in internal conflicts.

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