n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Intervention with specific reference to the relationship between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union

Volume 43, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



States often use their sovereignty as a justification to demand the noninterventionof other states in matters that they consider to be in theirexclusive jurisdiction. However, due to the role of regional and international organisations and the influence of universal norms and values, the present idea of state sovereignty differs greatly from the classical understanding of sovereignty as absolute. In a growing interdependent world where national boundaries are increasingly permeable, traditional notions of territoriality, independence and non-intervention are losing some of their meaning. As a result of the increasing acceptance that the protection of human rights can no longer be regarded as a purely internal matter and that the international community has a responsibility to protect, the traditional interpretation of article 2(7) of the United Nations Charter is brought into question. In addition, the relationship between the peace and security provisions of the United Nations Charter and the constitutive documents of regional organisations such as the African Union, is not completely clear. The aim of this contribution is therefore to determine to what extent a traditional or strict interpretation of article 2(7) is still relevant in regulating the international relations between states in view of these changing circumstances and, further, to establish the relationship between the United Nations Security Council and regional peace and security bodies, with specific reference to the African Union.

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