Intervention in Libya: Another Nail in the Coffin for the Responsibility-to-Protect?

In: International Community Law Review
View More View Less
  • 1 Lawyer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney, Australia Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€29.95$34.95

Abstract

The article challenges the widespread assertion in the public and academic discourse that the military intervention in Libya was a successful first true test of the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). Examining the application of the doctrine as a tool of international political decision making as well as a normative framework in international law, the article reviews relevant Security Council resolutions as well as statements made by UN Member States during the Libyan crisis. These suggest that an express invocation of RtoP would have prevented rather than facilitated the adoption of Resolution 1973 (2011) and its authorisation of the use of force to protect civilians in Libya. It is argued further that a narrower focus on ‘protecting civilians’ rather than on the broader concept of RtoP is likely to provide greater political and legal utility in preventing humanitarian catastrophes in the future, even if the Security Council’s response to the crisis in Syria has been disappointing so far.

  • 11)

    ICISS Report, p. viii.

  • 13)

    Jeremy I. Levitt, “The Responsibility to Protect: A Beaver Without a Dam?”, 25 Michigan Journal of International Law (2003) pp. 153, 157.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30)

    Payandeh, supra note 21, p. 472.

  • 33)

    For in-depth analysis, see Focarelli, supra note 12, pp. 201–205.

  • 34)

    UN Doc. A/59/PV.85, p. 22.

  • 35)

    UN Doc. A/59/PV.86, p. 5.

  • 38)

    UN Doc. A/59/PV.87, p. 6.

  • 40)

    SC Res 1674, UN Doc. S/RES/1706 (28 April 2006).

  • 43)

    Payandeh, supra note 21, p. 482.

  • 44)

    Chesterman, supra note 7, pp. 127 et seq.

  • 47)

    SC Res. 1706, Pmbl., UN Doc. S/RES/1706 (31 Aug. 2006).

  • 48)

    Roger Cohen, “African Genocide Averted,” New York Times, 8 March 2008, available online at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/opinion/03cohen.html?_r=0> (accessed 17 September 2012); see also the remarks by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “Secretary-General’s Press Conference in Nairobi,” United Nations, 1 February 2008, unofficial transcript, available online at: <http://www.un.org/apps/sg/offthecuff.asp?nid=1127> (accessed 17 September 2012).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 55)

    SC Res 1674, UN Doc. S/RES/1706 (28 April 2006).

  • 74)

    SC Res. 1973, UN Doc. S/RES/1973 (17 March 2011).

  • 80)

    Hilpold, supra note 3, p. 78.

  • 82)

    SC Res. 1970, Pmbl., UN Doc. S/RES/1970 (26 February 2011).

  • 84)

    UN Doc. S/PV.6491 (26 February 2011), p. 5.

  • 89)

    UN Doc. S/PV.6498 (17 March 2011), p. 2.

  • 112)

    UN Doc. S/PV.6627, p. 3.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 423 112 6
Full Text Views 357 33 2
PDF Views & Downloads 144 52 8