The Responsibility to Protect
Perspectives on the Concept's Meaning, Proper Application and Value
This book presents the views of various international law and human rights experts on the contested meaning, scope of application, value and viability of R2P; the principle of the Responsibility to Protect . R2P refers to the notion that the international community has a legal responsibility to protect civilians against the potential or ongoing occurrence of the mass atrocity crimes of genocide, large scale war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. R2P allows for intervention where the individual State is unable or unwilling to so protect its people or is in fact a perpetrator. The book addresses also the controversial issue of whether intervention by States implementing R2P with or without the endorsement of the United Nations Security Council constitutes a State act of aggression or instead is legally justified and not an infringement on the offending State’s sovereign jurisdiction. The adverse impact on global peace and security of the failure to protect civilians from mass atrocity crimes has put in stark relief the need to address anew the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ and the feasibility and wisdom of its application and this book is a significant contribution to that effort. This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Human Rights.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Enforcing the responsibility to protect through solidarity measures 3. A critical reflection on the conceptual and practical limitations of the responsibility to protect 4. Redefining the responsibility to protect concept as a response to international crimes 5. R2P, Global Governance, and the Syrian refugee crisis 6. The responsibility to engage: cosmopolitan civic engagement and the spread of the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine 7. ‘To prevent future Kosovos and future Rwandas.’ A critical constructivist view of the Responsibility to Protect 8. Responsibility to protect and inter-state crises: why and how R2P applies to the case of Gaza 9. R2P and the Syrian crisis: when semantics becomes a matter of life or death 10. Bahrain: an R2P blind spot? 11. The responsibility to protect, the use of force and a permanent United Nations peace service 12. Protecting the world’s most persecuted: the responsibility to protect and Burma’s Rohingya minority 13. Will R2P be ready when disaster strikes? – The rationale of the Responsibility to Protect in an environmental context 14. The responsibility to protect and the lack of intervention in Syria between the protection of human rights and geopolitical strategies 15. Genocide, obligations erga omnes, and the responsibility to protect: remarks on a complex convergence 16. The ‘deterrent argument’ and the responsibility to protect 17. State collapse, peace enforcement and the responsibility to protect in Somalia 18. Government failure, atrocity crimes and the role of the International Criminal Court: why not Syria, but Libya 19. Responsibility to protect: dead, dying, or thriving? 20. Protecting while not being responsible: the case of Syria and responsibility to protect 21. Responsibility to protect and ‘peacetime atrocities’: the case of North Korea
Sonja Grover is Professor in the Lakehead University Faculty of Education and its affiliated Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Canada, and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights. She has published extensively in the area of international law and human rights law with 8 books and 67 peer-reviewed journal articles in this field, as well as two book chapters, two guest edited special issues of the International Journal of Human Rights and numerous conference presentations. She has a special interest in children’s fundamental human rights under international law.