Where is R2P grounded in International law?
The Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) is not a new practice of international customary law, It has grounding in international law. This can be shown through an analysis of international humanitarian and human rights law. This research shows that states have responsibilities, duties and obligations in international law to prevent and protect their citizens from harm. It also shows that R2P as a concept, does not add anything new to existing international customary norms on war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and ethnic cleansing. R2P reinforces these duties by declaring them and it is not distinctive in any way from the responsibilities already inherent in the Charter of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice Statute, the Geneva Conventions, and Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Nuremberg Charter, the Hague Conventions or any other international customary norm in international law related to humanitarian or human rights law. The legal status of R2P is limited to the crime of genocide and war crimes, On the other hand crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing must also be clearly identified within these two frameworks and not be separated from them. This research also shows that the justification for intervention into a state is limited to war crimes under the Nuremberg, Hague and Geneva Conventions, and genocide is limited to the Genocide Convention. R2P is not a new idea, It has been at the heart of the United Nations General Assembly discussions since 1946. Thus credit must be given to the International Law Commission and their magnum opus over the past 70 years on the responsibilities of states. The Security Council is the only means through which a state can legally intervene in the affairs of another state. This is determined by the legalities of a breach of International Peace and Security. Each participatory state of the United Nations is responsible for supplying in a timely manner the ‘means necessary’ to the Security Council to implement their decisions for the maintenance of International Peace and Security. These responsibilities have not changed, They are firmly grounded in international law.
Advisor: Devere, Heather
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Peace and Conflict Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: R2P; International law; International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights; Responsibility to Protect
Research Type: Thesis