Normative and Legal Challenges to un Peacekeeping Operations

in Journal of International Peacekeeping
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The application of law and norms in military operations is complex. This article provides an overview of legal and normative aspects in un peace operations. It will focus on key challenges to un peace operations. First, it will review un peacekeeping from the perspective of international law. After providing an overview of the legal framework of un peacekeeping and the application of human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law, the article turns to issues related to the accountability and immunity of un peacekeepers. The final section addresses normative concepts including the responsibility to protect, the protection of civilians, human security and their relevance in regard to un peacekeeping.

Normative and Legal Challenges to un Peacekeeping Operations

in Journal of International Peacekeeping




Derek W. BowettUnited Nations Forces: A Legal Study of United Nations Practice (London: Stevens1964).


Oscar Schachter‘The Uses of Law in International Peace-keeping’Virginia Law Reviewvol. 50 1964 pp. 1096–1114; ‘Legal Aspects of the United Nations Action in the Congo’ American Journal of International Law vol. 55 1961 pp. 1–61 (under the pseudonym E.M. Miller).


Finn SeyerstedUnited Nations Forces. In the Law of Peace and War (Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff1966).


 See for example Boris Kondoch‘The United Nations Administration of East Timor’Journal of Conflict and Security Lawvol. 6 2001 245–265; Carsten Stahn The Law and Practice of International Territorial Administration: Versailles to Iraq and Beyond (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2008/2010) and Ralph Wilde International Territorial Administration: How Trusteeship and the Civilizing Mission Never Went Away (Oxford: oup 2008). For a general overview regarding the administration of territories by international orgazations or states see Markus Benzing ‘International Administration of Territories’ Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (oup 2010).


Dieter Fleck‘The Responsibility to Rebuild and Its Potential for Law-Creation: Good Governance, Accountability and Judicial Control’Journal of International Peacekeepingvol. 16 issue 1–2 2012 pp. 84–98; Sylvia Maus ‘The Responsibility to Rebuild – Some Remarks on a un Obligation to Conduct Peacebuilding Activities’ Humanitäres Völkerrecht – Informationsschriften (HuV-I) vol. 23 issue 2 2010 pp. 52–61. In general on the question who should rebuild after conflict see James Pattison ‘Just Post Bellum and the Responsibility to Rebuild’ British Journal of Political Science November 2013 pp. 1–27.


Winrich Kuehne‘Peace Operations and Peacebuilding in the Transatlantic Dialogue’zif analysis08/09 p. 7.


Capstone Doctrine p. 15.


Capstone Doctrine p. 17.


 See also Otto Spijkers‘Legal Mechanisms to Establish Accountability for the Genocide in Srebrenica’Human Rights & International Legal Discoursevol. 1 no. 2 2007 pp. 231–265.


 See also Otto Spijkers‘Bystander Obligations at the Domestic and International Level Compared’Goettingen Journal of International Lawvol. 6 no. 1 2014 pp. 47–79.


 See Otto Spijkers‘The Immunity of the United Nations before the Dutch Courts’Military Law and the Law of War Review /Revue de Droit Militaire et de Droit de la Guerrevol. 51 no. 1 2012 pp. 361–393.


 See Security Council Resolution 1270un Doc. s/res/1270 (1999) 22 October 1999. See also Security Council Resolution 1291 un Doc. s/res/1291 (2000) 24 February 2000; Security Council Resolution 1493 un Doc. s/res/1493 (2003) 28 July 2003 regarding the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (monuc); Security Council Resolution 1528 un Doc. s/res/1528 (2004) 27 February 2004; Security Council Resolution 1609 un Doc. s/RES/1609 (2005) 24 June 2005; Security Council Resolution 1793 un Doc. s/res/1793 (2007) 21 December 2007 regarding the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (unoci); Security Council Resolutions 1590 un Doc s/res/1590 (2005) 24 March 2005; Security Council Resolution 1870 un Doc. s/res/1870 (2009) 20 May 2009 regarding the United Nations Mission in Sudan (unmis); Security Council Resolution 1990 un Doc. s/res/1990 (2011) 27 June 2011 regarding the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (unifsa); Security Council Resolution 1925 un Doc. s/res/1925 28 May 2010 regarding United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (monusco); Security Council Resolution 1996 un Doc. s/res/1996 8 July 2011 regarding the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (unmiss) and Security Council Resolution 2100 un Doc. s/res/2100 25 April 2013 regarding the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (minusma).


Hunt and Bellamy‘Mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect in Peace Operations’ p. 2.


Hunt and Bellamy‘Mainstreaming the Responsibility to Protect in Peace Operations’ p. 1.


Edward Newman‘Critical Human Security Studies’Review of International Studiesvol. 36 issue 1 January 2010 pp. 77–94 p. 79.


Kinhide Mushajori‘Three Reasons Why We Should Study Human Security’Journal of Human Security Studiesvol. 1 winter 2012 p. 1.


Yukio Takaso‘Mainstreaming Human Security in the Global Agenda’Journal of Human Security Studiesvol. 1 winter 2012 pp. 2–7 2.


Park Ik‘Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations’Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on Responsibility to ProtectNew York United States 23 July 2009; Alex J. Bellamy and Sara E. Davies ‘The Responsibility to Protect in the Asia-Pacific Region’ Security Dialogue vol. 40 issue 6 2009 pp. 547–74 p. 552.


Holt and BerkmanThe Impossible Mandate p. 19. See also Brendan Howe The Protection and Promotion of Human Security in East Asia (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2013) for a detailed model of concentric circles of responsiblity and entitlement rights.


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