The NATO Intervention in Libya (2011)
International Law and the Use of Force: A Case-Based Approach, Olivier Corten and Tom Ruys, eds, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017 Last revised: 8 Nov 2017
Date Written: May 10, 2017
This contribution discusses in detail the Security Council-authorized intervention by NATO in Libya in 2011, in response to the Libyan government’s extensive violence against civilians. It sets out the facts and context of the crisis, the legal positions of the main protagonists, and the international community’s reactions. It then surveys the debates about whether NATO’s use of force exceeded the Security Council authorization. Finally, it evaluates the precedential value of the intervention, including its effect on Russia’s and China’s willingness to authorize force in future Chapter VII situations and the intervention’s influence on the idea of a “responsibility to protect,” including its role in revealing the difficulty of calculating the proportionality of humanitarian responses.
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