Can international transitional administrations (ITAs) ever be morally justified, although they clearly constitute a form of foreign rule? The article addresses this question by relating it to the idea of a natural duty of justice. It thus can show that under certain conditions it is indeed morally justified to establish an ITA. At the same time, such an ap - proach also highlights the limits of legitimate external interference, i.e. the distinction be - tween morally required help and unjustifiable paternalism. As shown in the last part of the article, this distinction is of particular relevance for the task of evaluating the current practice of international transitional administrations.