Defining the Crimes

Tarun Chhabra and Jeremy B. Zucker

in The Responsibility to Protect

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199797769
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919369 | DOI:
Defining the Crimes

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This chapter discusses how the crimes covered by the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) have been developed through relevant and authoritative legal sources. It considers three challenges to the underlying premise that the doctrinal warrens of existing legal consensus are or should be integral to implementation of the RtoP. These challenges concern: the transferability of legal doctrines drawn from individual criminal responsibility to state responsibility; the multiple and variable responsibilities entailed by the RtoP; and the implications for and of pre-existing state responsibilities enshrined in international law. The chapter then considers acts omitted from the scope of the RtoP and finally turns to implications for ongoing debates over the legal versus political character of the RtoP. It suggests that a preoccupation with technical legal precipitants for the RtoP may undermine rather than consolidate consensus to prevent and halt mass atrocities.

Keywords: responsibility to protect; crimes; legal doctrines; criminal responsibility; state responsibility; international law

Chapter.  13284 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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