Challenges and Controversies

Nicole Deller

in The Responsibility to Protect

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199797769
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919369 | DOI:
Challenges and Controversies

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The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) demands that the international community does not stand by in the face of mass atrocities. From its initial conception, through its adoption in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, to the present, the doctrine has been challenged. Policy makers and scholars alike have questioned its purpose, criticized its ambiguities, and raised concerns about the potential for its misuse. At the same time, however, the credibility of the United Nations is increasingly seen to depend on its ability to prevent and halt genocide or other acts of mass violence. And, in what has been described as a “revolution in conscience,” many regional bodies, subregional bodies, and national governments are recognizing mass-atrocity prevention as a priority. The skepticism about and the hopes for the RtoP provide the context for this chapter, which identifies the various challenges that confront the new norm. They are presented in two parts: those challenges that relate to the meaning of the RtoP, and those about the institutions that are responsible for its implementation.

Keywords: responsibility to protect; mass atrocity prevention; international community

Chapter.  11754 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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