Intervention (international law)

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Intervention, in terms of international law, is the term for the use of force by one country or sovereign state in the internal or external affairs of another. In most cases, intervention is considered to be an unlawful act but some interventions may be considered lawful.


L. F. L. Oppenheim defines intervention as a forcible or dictorial interference by a State in the affairs of another State calculated to impose certain conduct or consequences on that other State.[1]

Intervention by invitation or on request[edit]

When a State interferes in the political affairs of another State by invitation, or on request, it can not be considered as an unlawful act. Interference of a State can never be unlawful if it is for the sake of humanity. It is necessary that the two States agree on the matter of intervention through a treaty. A request for assistance is not an unlawful act.

Kinds of Intervention[edit]

Intervention can be done by various means, e.g. military, subversive, economic, or diplomatic.


  1. ^ Oppenheim's 'International Law', Vol. 1, Ninth Edition (1992), Page No. 430