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.
This collection brings together a series of essays which address some of the challenges that globalization poses to the international legal order. The book examines the interaction of globalization and international law through four sub-themes: the adaptation of classical international legal tools to regulate and adjudicate community interests and conflicts in the era of globalization; coordinating dialogues and governance strategies within and between international legal systems and institutions; globalization and the diversification of actors; and the exposure of State sovereignty to private actors and the need to preserve the regulatory powers of States. The volume will be of interest to international law scholars, practitioners and students, as well as to those working in the fields of international relations and globalization.