The United Nations Academic Impact is informed by a commitment to support and advance ten basic principles, out of which the tenth is A commitment to the principles inherent in the United Nations Charter.

Principle number 7 in the United Nations Charter reads: Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

Test your knowledge about this UN principle of the with the UNAI Quiz!!

Scroll down to the bottom of this article to find the answers.

1. What matters are considered domestic in international law? 

a) There is a comprehensive list available to Member States of the United Nations.

b) There is no comprehensive list of such matters.

c) A list of such matters is currently being drafted.

2. Who has the responsibility to determine if a matter is domestic in relation to the Charter?

a) Member States of the United Nations.

b) All United Nations bodies.

c) The International Court of Justice.

3. Which acts shall not take place in compliance with this principle?

a) The use of force.

b) The use of any form of interference.

c) Those contained in the Declaration of Principles of International Law.

4. Is there a general right of intervention to support domestic opposition parties or factions?

a) There is no provision in international law about that regard.

b) There is no provision in the Charter about that regard.

c) The Charter does not explicitly prohibits that action.

5. What if gross human rights violations are taking place within a State?

a) In that case the international community cannot do anything.

b) In that case the international community must wait to see how the situation evolves.

c) In that case the international community has the responsibility to protect the population of that State.


1.b) There is no comprehensive list of matters considered as domestic ones. To this date, the concept of domestic jurisdiction does not denote specific areas which are clearly defined so there is no juridical meaning to that expression, at least within the United Nations Charter. In its Advisory Opinion of 7 February 1923, the Permanent Court of International Justice said that the exclusive jurisdiction of States embraces matters which are not in principle regulated by international law. The extent of this jurisdiction (...) varies with the development of international relations; it is therefore a purely relative question. Moreover, even as regards matters falling within this domain, the right of a State to use its discretion may be restricted by the effect of international obligations.

2.b) Each one of the United Nations bodies has, in principle, the power to interprete not only the extent of domestic jurisdiction but the applicability of the United Nations Charter as a whole. The Statute of the International Court of Justice does not provide a specific or exclusive right to this judicial body to do so. 

3.c) According to the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the principle of non-intervention implies that the following acts should not take place: armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, the use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind, organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another State, or interfere in civil strife in another State, and the use of force to deprive peoples of their national identity.

4.a) The International Court of Justice in its Judgement related to the case Nicaragua v. United States of America of 27 June 1986, stated that no such general right of intervention, in support of an opposition within another State, exists in contemporary international law and that acts constituting a breach of the customary principle of non-intervention will also, if they directly or indirectly involve the use of force, constitute a breach of the principle of non-use of force in international relations.

5.c) The Final Outcome of the 2005 World Summit, established the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect in paragraphs 138 and 139, in accordance with the second part of the principle contained in article 2 of the United Nations Charter: Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means (...) The international community, through the United Nations, also has the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. In this context, we are prepared to take collective action, in a timely and decisive manner, through the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter, including Chapter VII, on a case-by-case basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.