In this piece, Henderson looks to the shadow of Rwanda in terms of the concept of humanitarian intervention, and the evolution of the R2P doctrine. Tracing the re-examination of the conceptualisations of sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention that evolved after Rwanda, Henderson assesses the legal, normative, and institutional challenges that still attend the attainment of its goals. Henderson concludes on a note of cautious optimism: Although it is in no way a panacea, R2P – at the very least – raises the possibility that a greater range of measures may be taken in response to the commission, or anticipation of, atrocity crimes in the future. The legacy of Rwanda is the hope, reflected in R2P, that silence and idleness will never again be the international community’s response to genocide.
This paper analyses the overt provision of assistance to opposition groups in the contemporary conflicts in Libya and Syria. Applying an R2P lens to this new and emerging State practice, the paper argues that R2P has served as the inspiration for a re-aligned conceptualisation of the limits of State responses to atrocity crimes, charting a way forward for the international community which is at once sensitive to State sovereignty but also responsive to humanitarian imperatives.
This paper argues that the influence of R2P can be seen in many subtle, yet significant, ways throughout the Arms Trade Treaty, from the language used to the obligations imposed on States Parties. The Arms Trade Treaty indicates that R2P is influencing decision making and contributing to the protection of populations from atrocity crimes by obliging States Parties to explicitly consider the consequences of their arms transfers. In addition, the Arms Trade Treaty has increased our understanding of R2P by confirming that R2P involves a range of measures and includes restraint by States in refusing to transfer arms in situations where atrocity crimes are being committed, which may temper concerns about R2P being rebranded as assistance.