Critically analyse the development, application and status of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ in international law.
The coursework must be word processed, in font 11, Arial font and double-spaced. All pages must be numbered. It should also state an accurate word count on the front page. Please adopt OSCOLA (the Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities) for citation of authorities, legislation, and other legal materials. You may also use Harvard style, if your coursework does not involve too many primary legal materials.
The word limit for the coursework is 3,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. The Law School’s policy stipulates that a student may exceed the word limit by up to 10% without incurring a penalty.
Extra information about the topic– The Use of Force Session overview
The use of force is one of the most controversial areas of international law. States are divided as to the interpretation of the fundamental rules on the use of force in the UN Charter. The prohibition of the use of force in Article 2(4) is directed at inter-State conflicts, and there is disagreement as to whether this allows the use of force for humanitarian intervention or ‘responsibility to protect.’ The application of Article 2(4) to civil wars is also problematic. The main exception to the prohibition on the use of force is the right to self-defence under Article 51. It is controversial whether this is a narrow right, available only in response to an armed attack, or whether it allows force in protection of nationals abroad or in response to terrorist attacks. The UN Charter also establishes a collective security system whereby the Security Council may respond to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression.
Dixon Ch11; or Klabbers Ch9&10 Seminar: Responsibility to Protect Reading:
- Stahn, C., 2007. Responsibility to protect: Political rhetoric or emerging legal norm?. The American Journal of International Law, 101(1), pp.99-120.
- UN Human Rights Council (HRC) resolution about the “Situation of human rights in the DPRK”, A/HRC/25L.17
The doctrinal development on the use of force has never been as dramatic as in the past two decades. At the United Nations World Summit in 2005, global political leaders endorsed a new concept to govern international political behaviour entitled the ‘responsibility to protect’. Yet what’s the legal nature of R2P? Stahn’s article argues that R2P remains a political catchword rather than a legal norm. Seminar questions/activity: 1. Stahn concludes in his article that R2P is not a legal norm. What is in the content of R2P? What is lacking for the concept to become law? 2. Read the UN Human Rights Council resolution about the “Situation of human rights in the DPRK.” The resolution “condemns in the strongest terms the longstanding and ongoing systematic widespread and gross human rights violations…” and spends half a page enumerating those abuses. In a subsequent key provision, the resolution recognises that crimes against humanity, including “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearances of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation” have been carried out “pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the state,” and “for decades.” Do these crimes trigger R2P?
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