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Über dieses Buch

Using legal arguments consistent with international law, this book explores whether and under which circumstances a State (or States) may establish and militarily enforce safe zones in countries that produce large-scale refugee outflows so as to protect its (or their) own interests by averting said outflows, as well as to alleviate human suffering in today’s world of civil and internal warfare.

Though large-scale refugee outflows have become an increasingly frequent problem in inter-state relations, international law offers no clear remedy. Accordingly, interpretation and adaptation of the existing rules and principles of international law, in addition to State practice and the jurisprudence of international courts, are required in order to find appropriate and lawful responses to such situations. The book examines countermeasures, necessity and humanitarian intervention as possible legal grounds to justify the establishment of safe zones.

Since the proposal of a safe zone for Syria remains on the international community’s agenda, the specific conditions of this case are particularly addressed in order to assess the suitability and legality of a possible safe zone in Syria.



Chapter 1. Introduction

A safe zone can be defined as demarcated place protected by foreign military forces to ensure security of people who flee danger within their own country. If successfully established and maintained such zones eliminate security concerns of displaced persons, refugees, and at-risk civilians and aim to keep those groups within their own country. This function of safe zones gives refugee-receiving States an appropriate means to prevent persons from seeking refuge by crossing an international border.
Lokman B. Çetinkaya

Chapter 2. Application of Countermeasures to Justify the Establishment of Safe Zones as a Response to Large-Scale Refugee Outflows

Article 13(1)(a) of the UN Charter includes ‘encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification’ as one of the purposes for which the UN General Assembly is empowered to ‘initiate studies and make recommendations.’ The International Law Commission (ILC) was created by the General Assembly in 1947 in order to meet this expectation.
Lokman B. Çetinkaya

Chapter 3. Application of the Concept of Necessity to Justify the Establishment of Safe Zones to Prevent Large-Scale Refugee Outflows

Hugo Grotius, considered the ‘father of international law,’ noted in the seventeenth century that the right to self-preservation existed in many States’ internal law and would also be equally applicable to inter-State relations. This appears to be the first doctrine of necessity in the literature. Since there is no general conventional provision to anchor the rule, doubts have been expressed as to whether necessity constitutes a grounds for precluding wrongfulness concerning any act that is inconsistent with an international obligation.
Lokman B. Çetinkaya

Chapter 4. Application of the Humanitarian Intervention Doctrine to Justify the Establishment of Safe Zones to Alleviate Human Suffering

The term ‘humanitarian intervention’ may be defined as a ‘forceful intervention for humanitarian purposes by a third State or States to save the people of a State from their own Government’s action or inaction.’ Adelman indicates that the establishment of safe zones, as a form of military action, may well be considered within the scope of humanitarian intervention since such zones would not only serve to prevent refugees from crossing an international border, but also ensure security to those at risk within their national homeland.
Lokman B. Çetinkaya

Chapter 5. Conclusion

This work has examined the establishment of safe zones as a temporary military measure that ensures security for persons fleeing conflict and violence until such security threats disappear in their own country. The aim is not to intervene in a country’s internal affairs, but to avert large-scale outflows of refugees. My analysis has suggested that safe zones can be an effective way to achieve the dual purpose of humanitarian protection and safeguarding of the interests of refugee-receiving States. Furthermore, I conclude that the concept of safe zone does not constitute an undue intervention into the internal affairs of the target State. When such a State internationalizes its internal affairs by initiating and failing to prevent large outflows of its people, safe zones may be justified on the grounds of countermeasures, necessity, and humanitarian intervention.
Lokman B. Çetinkaya


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