1 Ph.D. Student, Public Law, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


While in conditions of combat assistance to victims based on the provisions of binding humanitarian law often takes place easily, there are no similar provisions in terms of natural disasters. This legal vacuum provides a fertile ground for abuse of the traditional principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in order to prevent international relief. In the meantime, International Disaster Response Law as a new branch of Public International Law is looking to log-on in to the basics of humanitarian assistance provided in such events to fill the void. The doctrine of the responsibility to protect, seems as an appropriate justification for this purpose. The international community has yet to reach a consensus about the applicability of the aforementioned doctrine in cases of disaster. However, results of this study suggest that even if a consensus is reached by the international community, it will not create a significant and effective change in the international relief to the victims of such events by itself.


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    1. Haider, Huma (2013), International legal frameworks for humanitarian action: Topic guide, Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.
    2. Jarrod Wong (2009), Reconstructing the Responsibility To Protect in the Wake of Cyclones and Separatism, Tulane Law Review, Vol. 84.
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      4. Lucia Frattroli, Jessica (2014), A State’s Duty to Prepare, Warn, and Mitigate Natural Disaster Damages, Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, Volume 37, Issue 1, Article 7, 172-208.
    3. Nathan Willis (2012), Natural disaster, national sovereignty and state negligence: an international law analysis of the denial of emergencrelief aftr cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), University of Tasmania Law Review, vol. 31, no. 2.
    4. Small, Michael (2014), An Analysis of the Responsibility to Protect Program in Light of the Conflct in Syria, Washington University Global Studies Law Review, Volume 13, Issue 1.
    5. Stuart k. Ford (2010), Is the Failure to Respond Appropriately to a Natural Disaster a Crime Against Humanity? The Responsibility to Protect and Individual Criminal Responsibility in the Aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 38, 226-276.
    6. Telec, Amelia, Challenges to State Sovereignty in the Provision of International Natural Disaster Relief ,in :David  D. Caron and  etc., The International law of Disaster Relief, 2014, Cambridge: University Press.
      1. Tyra Ruth Saechao, (2007),  Natural Disasters and the Responsibility to Protect: From Chaos to Clarity, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Volume 32, Issue 2, 662-707.
      2. Venturini, Gabriella; International Disaster Response Law in Relation to Other Branches of  International Law, International Disaster Response Law, Hague, the Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press; Berlin: Springer, c2012.


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