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This examines the international law of forcible intervention in civil wars, focusing on the question of the consent of one of the parties to the conflict as a legitimizing factor for an external action. In modern international law, there exists a consensus that no state can use force against another, the main exceptions being self-defence and forcible actions mandated by a UN Security Council resolution. One more exception exists: forcible intervention on invitation or with the consent of a government, seeking assistance in an attempt to defeat an armed insurrection - usually on the substantive grounds of the protection of civilians these days.
This book looks at this question in a wide context, attempting to present solid definitions of the concept of 'internal armed conflicts' and the elusive term 'intervention'. It addresses the concept of consensual intervention in light of the international law of recognition and and the law of treaties, in conjunction with the laws on the use of force. It touches on the the consent-power of non-state actors and the complex relations between consent and forcible operations. It traces the development of the law through an analysis of international law's wider approach towards the rights and powers of parties to internal armed conflicts, drawing conclusions from historical exmaples such as the Spanish Civil War and recent cases such as the DRC and Libya. The book seeks to understand the question of intervention and consent, as it developed from the era of unlimited war-power, through to the era of the prohibition of the use of force and the current era of sovereignty as responsibility, represented in the emerging Responsibility to Protect doctrine. This book will be of much interest to students of international law, civil wars, the Responsibility to Protect, war and conflict studies and IR in general.