'Failures to Protect' in International Law

M Weller (ed), Handbook on the Prohibition of the Use of Force (Oxford UP, 2014) Forthcoming

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-46

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-15

30 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2013 Last revised: 1 Dec 2013

See all articles by Andre Nollkaemper

Andre Nollkaemper

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: September 2, 2013

Abstract

Every new mass atrocity tends to provoke a critique of outside actors that failed to protect populations. Many observers are no longer content with condemning perpetrators and extend their moral outrage to bystanders who should have done more. However, from a legal perspective there is something disingenuous about applying a "failure to protect critique" in one brush to both perpetrators and bystanders. This paper argues that failures to protect of bystanders are built in and to a large extent induced and legitimized by the international legal system. International law provides a framework for political debate on how this shared responsibility should be performed: who should protect where and when. But this framework allows individual bystanders to hide behind a failing political process, and to escape individual responsibility for failures to protect.

Keywords: International law, use of force, united nations, responsibility to protect. Genocide, failures to protect, security council

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Nollkaemper, Andre, 'Failures to Protect' in International Law (September 2, 2013). M Weller (ed), Handbook on the Prohibition of the Use of Force (Oxford UP, 2014) Forthcoming, Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2013-46, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2013-15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2319317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2319317

Andre Nollkaemper (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/p.a.nollkaemper/

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