This essay discusses the lawfulness of humanitarian intervention in circumstances in which the lives of large numbers of a population are in danger and such government as is there is either non-existent, ineffective, or itself the threat to basic human rights. If the great democracies back up their insistence on respect for constitutional democracy in all other states with a claim of a customary right to unilateral humanitarian intervention for its violation, that norm, in itself, will act to deter coups.
W. Michael Reisman,
Humanitarian Intervention and Fledgling Democracies,
18 Fordham Int'l L.J. 794
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol18/iss3/6