"The Security Council's Responsibility to Protect"

Michigan Law Authors
Publish Date
2011
Publication
International Organizations Law Review
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract

The objective of this paper is to spell out the legal consequences of the concept "responsibility to protect" (R2P), postulated as a binding legal principle of international law, for the Security Council and its members. The paper is a thought experiment, because the binding legal force of R2P is not settled. My argument is that, once R2P is accepted as a full-fledged legal principle, the Security Council (and its members) would be under a legal obligation to authorize or to take sufficiently robust action in R2P situations. The paper then discusses the problems engendered by the acceptance of such a material obligation and suggests a procedural obligation to justify inaction instead.

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