Aidan Hehir

A «Responsibility» or «Duty» to Protect? Politics and the Enforcement of International Law

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Responsibility to Protect; Security Council; Human Rights Law.

In this article I argue that the enforcement of international law remains hamstrung by the constitutional competencies afforded to the Permanent Five members of the Security Council; so long as these powers remain, the enforcement of international human rights law will remain highly selective and inconsistent. Though the Responsibility to Protect has emerged as a widely heralded concept, its capacity to influence international politics is profoundly diminished by virtue of its recognition of the systemic status quo. I argue that so long as the Security Council has a right rather than a duty to protect individuals from mass atrocities, they will exercise politically motivated discretion, regardless of their rhetorical commitment to concepts like R2P.

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