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The Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council

By: P M Butchard
Media of The Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council
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Published: 02-04-2020
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 304
ISBN: 9781509930807
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Studies in International Law
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £80.00
Online price : £72.00
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Loren Epson

About The Responsibility to Protect and the Failures of the United Nations Security Council

What can be done if the United Nations Security Council fails to protect people from mass atrocities? At a time of inaction and political paralysis at the United Nations, this book explains the legality of alternative action beyond the Security Council.

This book takes a fresh look at the responsibility to protect and offers new and compelling insights into the powers and limits of the UN Security Council. It argues that the Security Council's responsibility to maintain international peace and security, and its responsibility to protect, do not die with its own failures. Other actors can and must take up responsibility to save those in need. In a persuasive and detailed examination of the legal framework, this research identifies options for coercive measures to be taken beyond the Council that could be used to break the deadlock, including through the General Assembly and regional organisations.

It provides a must-have resource for students, academics, and researchers on key principles of international law. It also offers insight for governments, policy-makers, and other international actors on how they can uphold their legal responsibilities, maintain peace and security, and prevent their failures from undermining the very existence of the UN itself.

Table Of Contents

I. A Warning to Humanity
1. The Scope and Aim of this Book
2. The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention
3. Between Illegality and Inaction
II. The Responsibility to Protect
1. The ICISS Report
2. Response to the ICISS Report
3. Implementation of the World Summit Outcome
4. Conclusions
III. The Legal Responsibilities of the United Nations Security Council
1. The Security Council's Responsibility to Protect
2. The Responsibility to Maintain International Peace and Security
3. The Failures of the Security Council
4. The Tertiary Responsibility to Protect – A Continuum of Responsibility
5. Conclusions
IV. The Tertiary Responsibility and Forcible Measures
1. The Prohibition of Force
2. The Original Interpretation of Article 2(4)
3. The Mechanics of Article 2(4)
4. Force Beyond the Security Council?
5. Conclusions
V. The Tertiary Responsibility and Non-Forcible Measures
1. The Principle of Non-Intervention
2. Countermeasures
3. Conclusion on Coercive Measures
VI. Implementing the Tertiary Responsibility to Protect
1. The Tertiary Responsibility within the UN
2. The Tertiary Responsibility Beyond the United Nations
3. Conclusions
VII. General Conclusions


“This is an original account of such an important issue in the field and should be key reading for students, academics, and practitioners across the spectrum hoping to continue an exploration of legal alternatives for R2P implementation in the face of UN Security Council failure.” –  Blake Lawrinson, Responsibility to Protect Student Journal

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