Scholarship on humanitarian intervention is plentiful, but actual examples of state practice and opinio juris are sparse. Thus, critics conclude, the doctrine of humanitarian intervention has no legal basis in international law. This Article challenges this viewpoint. It does so by departing from the traditional framework of international law and adopting an alternative framework of analysis: the study of incidents. Through an examination of seven incidents over the past decade, this Article reveals that the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, though not yet an established norm of international law, functions to widen traditional exceptions to the prohibition on the use of force.
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