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The responsibility to protect and the responsibility while protecting: Why did Brazil write a letter to the UN?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
2013 (English)In: Nordic Journal of International Law, ISSN 0902-7351, E-ISSN 1571-8107, Vol. 82, no 4, 459-486 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The responsibility to protect was invoked by the United Nations (UN) Security Council in support of its authorization of a military intervention in Libya in 2011. In the wake of the intervention, Brazil approached the UN with a new doctrine: the responsibility while protecting. The responsibility while protecting implies a greater degree of caution on the part of the international community in its exercise of the responsibility to protect. Intentionally or unintentionally Brazil mixes aspects of the/us ad helium with aspects of the jus in bello in the new doctrine. This is controversial and potentially detrimental to both areas of law. An additional layer of limitations on the use of armed force in multinational peace operations is introduced beyond the existing restrictions on warfare following from international humanitarian law. A lack of clarity pertaining to the use of force and to the respective roles of the Security Council and the General Assembly in this respect in the exercise of the responsibility to protect contribute to making the responsibility while protecting seem increasingly enigmatic. Interpreted constructively, however, the responsibility while protecting simply urges the international community to follow international law. This would be good.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013. Vol. 82, no 4, 459-486 p.
Keyword [en]
humanitarian intervention, jus ad helium, jus in hello, protection of civilians, Uniting for Peace, use of force
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Public International Law
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207243OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-207243DiVA: diva2:647257
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2013-09-10 Created: 2013-09-10 Last updated: 2014-08-05Bibliographically approved

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Österdahl, Inger
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