Responsibility to Protect

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Responsibility to Protect

The adoption of the Martens Clause in the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions reads:

“Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.”

Conceptions of Sovereignty

Article 2 (7) of the United Nations Charter (1945) establishes:

“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 VII.”

Human Security

International Organization Response to Humanitarian Emergencies

Note: See the entry on international humanitarian law.

Some issues:

  • In 1992, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said that: “Respect for its fundamental sovereignty and integrity are crucial to any common international progress. The time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty, however, has passed; its theory was never matched by reality. It is the task of leaders of States today to understand this and to find a balance between the needs of good internal governance and the requirements of an ever more interdependent world.”
  • The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (1999) claimed that: “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalisation and international co-operation. States are now widely understood to be instruments at the service of their peoples, and not vice versa. At the same time individual sovereignty – by which I mean the fundamental freedom of each individual, enshrined in the charter of the UN and subsequent international treaties – has been enhanced by a renewed and spreading consciousness of individual rights. When we read the charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them.”
  • It was a milestone the challenge that Secretary General Annan offered in his Millennium Report to the General Assembly (April 2000): “[T]o the critics I would pose this question: if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?”

ICISS Report and Millennium Summit Outcome Document

Acting on concerns captured by Annan’s question (see above), the Canadian government established the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty to consider the relationship between the United Nations’ protection of state sovereignty and the need to protect individual human beings. The Commission report (2001) stated:

  • “State sovereignty implies responsibility, and the primary responsibility for the protection of its people lies with the state itself”.
  • “Where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect”.
  • “Intra-state warfare is often viewed, in the prosperous West, simply as a set of discrete and unrelated crises occurring in distant and unimportant regions. In reality, what is happening is a convulsive process of state fragmentation and state formation that is transforming the international order itself. Moreover, the rich world is deeply implicated in the process. Civil conflicts are fuelled by arms and monetary transfers that originate in the developed world, and their destabilizing effects are felt in the developed world in everything from globally interconnected terrorism to refugee flows, the export of drugs, the spread of infectious disease and organized crime.”
  • “These considerations reinforce the Commission’s view that human security is indeed indivisible. There is no longer such a thing as a humanitarian catastrophe occurring “in a faraway country of which we know little.”

In the September 2005 Outcome Document at the United Nations Millennium Summit (SOD), the following were added:

  • “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. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.”
  • “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 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 manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We stress the need for the General Assembly to continue consideration of the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and its implications, bearing in mind the principles of the Charter and international law. We also intend to commit ourselves, as necessary and appropriate, to helping States build capacity to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity and to assisting those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out.”
  • “We fully support the mission of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.”

Cross References of International Claims, State Responsability in International Law

This includes:

  • Alien Tort Claims Act litigation, information on Foreign Relations in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • McKesson v. Iran, information on Foreign Relations in this legal Encyclopedia and information on Privileges and Immunities in this legal Encyclopedia
  • International Law Commission, information on International Organizations in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • Expropriation exception to Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, information on Privileges and Immunities in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • Litigation under terrorism exception to Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, information on Privileges and Immunities in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • NAFTA dispute settlement, information on Trade, Commercial Relations, Investment, Transportation in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • WTO dispute settlement, information on Trade, Commercial Relations, Investment, Transportation in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • Request for arbitral panel under CAFTA-DR Agreement, information on Trade, Commercial Relations, Investment, Transportation in this legal Encyclopedia.
  • Arbitration with Canada relating to compliance with Softwood Lumber Agreement, information on Trade, Commercial Relations, Investment, Transportation in this legal Encyclopedia.

Responsibility to Protect

Embracing mainstream international law, this section on responsibility to protect explores the context, history and effect of the area of the law covered here.

Resources

Further Reading

  • The entry “responsibility to protect” in the Parry and Grant Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law (currently, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2009), Oxford University Press
  • Abdelaziz, M. (2005). Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations.
  • Adebajo, A. (2002) Building Peace in West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea-Bissau. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
  • Allott, P. (2002) The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Alvarez, J.E. (2007) The Schizophrenias of R2P. At www.asil.org/pdfs/R2PPanel.pdf, accessed Jan. 2009.
  • Annan, K. (1999). Two Concepts of Sovereignty.
  • Annan, K. (2005) In Larger Freedom. New York: United Nations.
  • Arbour, L. (2008) The Responsibility to Protect as a Duty of Care in International Law and Practice. Review of International Studies 34, 445–58.
  • Ayoob, M. (2004) Third World Perspectives on Humanitarian Intervention and International Administration. Global Governance 10, 99–118.
  • Badescu, C., and Bergholm, L. (2008). The Responsibility to Protect and the Case of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).
  • Bassiouni, C. (2009) Advancing the Responsibility to Protect Through International Criminal Justice. In R.H. Cooper and J.V. Kohler (eds.) Responsibility to Protect: The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave, pp. 31–43.
  • Bellamy, A.J. (2005) Responsibility to Protect or Trojan Horse? The Crisis in Darfur and Humanitarian Intervention after Iraq. Ethics and International Affairs 19 (2), 31–54.
  • Bellamy, A.J. (2009) The Responsibility to Protect. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
  • Biersteker, T.J., and Weber, C. (1996). State Sovereignty as a Social Construct. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bodin, J. (1576) Six Books of the Commonwealth.
  • Bothe, M., O’Connell, M.E., and Ronzitti, N. (eds.) (2005) Redefining Sovereignty: The Use of Force after the End of the Cold War. Leiden, the Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff.
  • Boutros-Ghali, B. (1992) An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-keeping. International Relations 11 (3), 201–18.
  • Brandt, W. (1980) North–South: A Program for Survival. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Brandt, W. (1983) Common Crisis North–South: Cooperation for World Recovery. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Broomhall, B. (2003) International Justice and the International Criminal Court: Between Sovereignty and the Rule of Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Brown, A. (2008). Reinventing Humanitarian Intervention: Two Cheers for the Responsibility to Protect?
  • Brunnée, J., and Toope, S.J. (2006) Norms, Institutions and UN Reform: The Responsibility to Protect. Journal of International Law and International Relations 2, 121–37.
  • Buchanan, A., and Keohane, R.O. (2004) The Preventive Use of Force: A Cosmopolitan Institutional Proposal. Ethics and International Affairs 18 (1), 1–22.
  • Bush, G.W. (2003) Address to the Peoples of Iraq.
  • Byers, M., and Chesterman, S. (2008) Changing the Rules About Rules? Unilateral Humanitarian Intervention and the Future of International Law. In J.L. Holzgrefe and R.O. Keohane (eds.) Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 177–203.
  • Carey, H.F. (2001) US Domestic Politics and the Emerging Humanitarian Intervention Policy: Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo. World Affairs 164 (2), 72–82.
  • Carey, H.F. (2004) States, NGOs and Humanitarian Intervention. In J. Carey, W.V. Dunlap, and R.J. Pritchard (eds.) International Humanitarian Law: Challenges, vol. II. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers, pp. 123–74.
  • Chandler, D. (2004) The Responsibility to Protect? Imposing the “Liberal Peace.” International Peacekeeping 11 (1), 59–81.
  • Chatterjee, P. (2004) Empire after Globalisation. Economic and Political Weekly 39 (37), 4158.
  • Chesterman, S. (2003) Just War or Just Peace?: Humanitarian Intervention and International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Chidyausiku, B.G. (2008) Author’s interview with B.G. Chidyausiku, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Nations, May 21, 2008.
  • Cooper, R.H., and Kohler, J.V. (eds.) (2009) Responsibility to Protect: The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave.
  • Crook, J.R. (2006) Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law: US Officials Endorse “Responsibility to Protect” Through Security Council Action. American Journal of International Law 100 (2), 463–4.
  • de Waal, A. (2007) No Such Thing as Humanitarian Intervention: Why We Need to Rethink How to Realize the “Responsibility to Protect” in Wartime. Harvard International Review.
  • Deng, F., Kimaro, S., Lyons, T., et al. (1996) Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
  • Diehl, P.F. (1994) International Peacekeeping. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Evans, G. (2008) The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.
  • Falk, R. (2009). UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
  • Feinstein, L., and Slaughter, A. (2004) Essays: A Duty to Prevent. Foreign Affairs 83 (1), 136–51.
  • Finnemore, M. (2003) The Purpose of Intervention: Changing Beliefs about the Use of Force. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Fuller, L.L. (1958) Positivism and Fidelity to Law – A Reply to Professor Hart. Harvard Law Review 71 (4), 630–67.
  • Glennon, M.J. (2003) Why the Security Council Failed. Foreign Affairs 82 (3), 16–35.
  • Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (2008). Cyclone Nargis: Whose Responsibility to Protect?
  • Gross, L. (1998) The Peace of Westphalia, 1648–1948. In C. Ku and P.F. Diehl (eds.) International Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, pp. 55–74.
  • Grotius, H. (1957) Prolegomena. In E. Dumbauld (ed.) Prolegomena to the Law of War and Peace. New York: Liberal Arts Press.
  • Holzgrefe, J.L., and Keohane, R.O. (2003) Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues (ICDSI) (1982) Common Security: A Programme for Disarmament: The Report of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues Under the Chairmanship of Olaf Palme. New York: Macmillan Press.
  • International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) (2001) The Responsibility to Protect: The Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Ottawa: International Development Research Center.
  • Johansen, R.C. (2007) Peace AND Justice? The Contributions of the International Criminal Court to Peacebuilding.
  • Jørgensen, N.H.B. (2000) The Responsibility of States for International Crimes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Journal of Human Security (2009)
  • Joyner, C.C. (2007) “The Responsibility to Protect”: Humanitarian Concern and the Lawfulness of Armed Intervention. Virginia Journal of International Law 47 (693).
  • Kaldor, M. (2007) New and Old Wars, 2nd edn. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Kant, I. (1983) Perpetual Peace. Indianapolis: Hackett.
  • Kegley, C.W. Jr., and Raymond, G.A. (2002) Exorcising the Ghost of Westphalia: Building World Order in the New Millennium. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.
  • Kennedy, P. (2006) The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Kettemann, M.C. (2006) The Conceptual Debate on Human Security and its Relevance for the Development of International Law. Human Security Perspectives 1 (3), 39–52.
  • Koskenniemi, M. (2002) The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870–1960. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Koskenniemi, M. (1989) From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument. Helsinki: Lakimiesliiton Kustannus.
  • Kreide, R. (2009) Preventing Military Humanitarian Intervention? John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas on a Just Global Order. German Law 10 (1), 93–114.
  • Kunz, J.L. (1949) The United Nations Convention on Genocide. American Journal of International Law 43 (4), 738–46.
  • Kuper, L. (1982) Genocide: Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Lavrov, S. (2008). Interview by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov to BBC.
  • LeBlanc, L. (1991) The United States and the Genocide Convention. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • MacFarlane, N.S., and Khong, Y.F. (2006) Human Security and the UN: A Critical History (United Nations Intellectual History Project). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Matthews, M.W. (2008) Tracking the Emergence of a New International Norm: The Responsibility to Protect and the Crisis in Darfur. Boston College International and Comparative Law Review 31 (1), 137–52.
  • May, L. (2004) Crimes against Humanity: A Normative Account. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mill, J.S. (1978) On Liberty. Indianapolis: Hackett.
  • Minow, M. (1998) Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Moix, B., and Keck, T. (2008). The Responsibility to Prevent. At www.fcnl.org/pdfs/ppdc/prevention_final_1008.pdf, accessed Nov. 2008.
  • Nanda, V. (2007) The Protection of Human Rights under International Law: Will the U.N. Human Rights Council and the Emerging New Norm “Responsibility to Protect” Make a Difference? Denver Journal of International Law and Policy 35 (3/4), 353–78.
  • Niezen, R. (2003) The Origins of Indigenism, Human Rights and the Politics of Identity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Oberleitner, G. (2005) Human Security: A Challenge to International Law? Global Governance 11, 185–203.
  • O’Connell, M.E. (2002) The Myth of Preemptive Self-Defense. Washington, DC: The American Society of International Law Task Force on Terrorism.
  • O’Connell, M.E., Slaughter, A., Falk, R., Franck, T.M., and Crawford, J. (2004) Iraq: One Year Later. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law.
  • Orford, A. (2009) Closing Plenary: Imperfect Duties? Humanitarian Intervention in Africa and the Responsibility to Protect in the Post-Iraq Era. Greencastle: The Prindle Institute for Ethics, DePauw University.
  • Petersmann, E. (2002) Constitutionalism and WTO Law: From a State-Centered Approach towards a Human Rights Approach in International Economic Law. In D. Kennedy and J. Southwick (eds.) The Political Economy of International Trade Law. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 32–67.
  • Reform the UN (2006) UN Member States: Excerpted references to R2P at Security Council open debate.
  • Reinold, T. (2008) The Responsibility to Protect – An Emerging Norm of Customary International Law? At www.allacademic.com/meta/p252328_index.html, accessed Jan. 2009.
  • Ronayne, P. (2001) Never Again? The United States and the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide since the Holocaust. Boulder: Rowman and Littlefield.
  • Roth, K. (2009) Was the Iraq War a Humanitarian Intervention? And What Are Our Responsibilities Today? In R.H. Cooper and J.V. Kohler (eds.) Responsibility to Protect: The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave, pp. 101–14.
  • Sarkin, J. (2007) The Historical Origins, Convergence and Interrelationship of International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Criminal Law and Public International Law and Their Application from at least the Nineteenth Century. Human Rights and International Legal Discourse 1.
  • Schaak, B.V. (1997) The Crime of Political Genocide: Repairing the Genocide Convention’s Blind Spot. Yale Law Journal 106 (7), 2259–91.
  • Schabas, W. (2007) An Introduction to the International Criminal Court. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Scheffer, D. (2009) Atrocity Crimes Framing the Responsibility to Protect. In R.H. Cooper and J.V. Kohler (eds.) Responsibility to Protect: The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave, pp. 77–100.
  • Slaughter, A. (2004) A New World Order. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Slaughter, A.-M. (2003) Good Reasons for Going around the UN. New York Times, March 18.
  • Sørenson, G. (1992) Kant and Processes of Democratization: Consequences for Neorealist Thought. Journal of Peace Research 29 (4), 397–414.
  • Straw, J. (2005). We are in Iraq to Bring about Democracy.
  • Teson, F.R. (1988) Humanitarian Intervention: An Inquiry into Law and Morality. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Transnational Publishers.
  • Thakur, R. (2006) The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thakur, R., and O’Connell, M. (2007). The R2P Controversy.
  • United Nations Development Program (1994) Human Development Report 1994: New Dimensions of Human Security. New York: United Nations.
  • UN Democracy (2002) Security Council meeting 4644. At www.undemocracy.com/securitycouncil/meeting_4644, accessed Jan. 2009.
  • UN Secretary General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change (2004) A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility. New York: United Nations.
  • Volk, J., and Stedjan, S. (2009) Building Structures for Peace: A Quaker Lobby Offers Strategies for Peacemakers. In R.H. Cooper and J.V. Kohler (eds.) Responsibility to Protect: The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave, pp. 199–218.
  • Warner, D. (2003) The Responsibility to Protect and Irresponsible, Cynical Engagement. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 32 (1), 109–21
  • Weiss, T. (2006) R2P after 9/11 and the World Summit. Wisconsin International Law Journal 24 (3), 741–60.
  • Weiss, T. (2007) Humanitarian Intervention. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
  • Welsh, J.M. (2002) From Right to Responsibility: Humanitarian Intervention and International Society. Global Governance 8, 503–21.
  • Wendt, A. (1999) Social Theory of International Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Williams, R.E., and Caldwell, D. (2006) Just War Theory and the Principles of Just Peace. International Studies Perspectives 7, 309–20.
  • Wilson, R.N. (2008) Securing the Human: A Critique of Human Security and the Responsibility to Protect. MA dissertation, Carleton University.
  • World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (1987) Our Common Future. New York: Oxford University Press.

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