Document Type : Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Law, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran



Intervention by invitation is a rule of customary international law, which is occasionally invoked by states despite it not being prescribed by the Charter of the United Nations or other legally-binding instruments of international law. France’s 2013 intervention in Mali was justified under this legal concept. Intervention by invitation is related to such principles of international law as the prohibition of intervention, the right to self-determination and, according to some, the prohibition on the use of force. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate this doctrine’s nature and its dimensions based on the crisis in Mali. This paper has an analytical-descriptive method, and is based on library resources. In order to evaluate French intervention in Mali, first the status and terms of the intervention-by-invitation rule in international law will be examined, and then it will be analyzed whether French intervention in Mali was legal. We will also examine the French government’s other justifications for the military action, i.e., self-defense and Security Council resolutions.


  1. English

    1. A) Books
    2. Dinstein, Yoram., (2011), War, Aggression and Self-Defense, 5th ed., Cambridge University Press
    3. Nolte, George, (2010). Intervention by invitation. Max planck encyclopedia of public international law.
    4. Shaw, Malcolm, (2017). International law. Cambridge university press.


    1. B) Articles
    2. Bannelier, Karine, and Theodore Christakis,(2013). Under the UN Security Council's watchful eyes: Military intervention by invitation in the Malian conflict. Leiden Journal of International Law, Vol. 25, No.4, 855-874.
    3. Doswald-Beck, Louise, (1986), "the legal validity of military intervention by invitation of the government", British yearbook of international law, 228-241
    4. Garwood-Gowers, Andrew, (2004),”Self-defence against terrorism in the post-9/11 world”, Law and Justice Journal, Vol. 4 No. 2, 167-184.
    5. Hafner, Gerhard, (2009), “Present Problems of the Use of Force in International Law, Intervention by Invitation, The Draft Report of the 10th commission Institute de Droit international”, Annuaire de l'Institut de droit international - Session de Naples, Vol. 73.
    6. Mills, Claire, Arabella Lang, and Jon Lunn The crisis in Mali: current military action and upholding humanitarian law, .available at:
    7. Nguyen, Quoc Tan Trung, (2019), “Rethinking the Legality of Intervention by Invitation: Toward Neutrality”, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 24(2), 201-238.
    8. Onuoha, Freedom C., and Alex Thurston, (2013). “Franco-African military intervention in the Mali crisis and evolving security concerns”, Al Jazeera Center for Studies.
    9. Ratner, Steven, (2012), "Self- Defense Against Terrorism, The Meaning of Armed Attack", Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 270.
    10. Smith, Imran O., (2006),"Terrorism, pre-emptive self defense and state interests: what challenges for contemporary international legal order?", Amicus Curiae, Issue 67.
    11. Visser, Laura, (2019), “May the force be with you: The legal classification of intervention by invitation”, Netherlands International Law Review, Vol. 66, No.1, 21-45.


    1. C) Documents & Judgment
    2. Document (with annexes) from the Russian Federation setting out its position regarding the alleged “lack of jurisdiction” of the Court in the case, 7 March 2022, (accessed 1 April 2022).
    3. ICC prosecutor report, situation in Mali,16 January 2012 ,available at:
    4. ICJ Rep, 1986, Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Judgment, 27 June 1986
    5. ICJ Rep, 2003, Oil Platforms (Iran v US), Judgment, 6 November 2003
    6. ICJ Rep, 2004, Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, 9 July 2004, I.C.J Reports
    7. ICJ Rep, 2005, Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005
    8. S/2012/727
    9. S/2013/17, Identical letters date 11th January 2013 from the Permanent Representative addressed to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council.
    10. S/RES 2100, 2013
    11. S/RES, 2085, 2012
    12. S/RES, 387, 1976
    13. S/RES/2056/2012
    14. S/RES/2071/2012
    15. SC/10878
    16. Statement of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the Situation in MalIi, 006/2013 12 January 2013
    17. The Draft articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, with commentaries 2001
    18. The Draft Report of the 10th commission of the ILI, 2011
    19. The Draft Report of The Institute of International Law on The Principle of Non-Intervention in Civil Wars, 1975


    References In Persian:

    1. A) Book
    2. Zamani, M.A., (2012), Intervention By Invitation in International Law, MA Thesis, Shahid Beheshti University (In Persian).


    1. B) Thesis
    2. Kadkhodaee, A. & Zarneshan, Sh., (2007),“The Apply of Self-Defence for Combating Terrorism”, Journal of Legal Reasearch, Vol. 6, Issue 11, pp.85-128 (In Persian).