The principle of the responsibility to protect: utopia or reality?

Thumbnail Image
Andrés Ribeiro, Alice
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The doctrine of the responsibility to protect reasserts that the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention and non-use of force remain the cornerstones of international relations. Furthermore, it acknowledges that the primary responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity lies with the state concerned itself. However, if this state cannot, due to unwillingness or inability, protect its population from heinous crimes, then the aforementioned principles give way to the international responsibility to protect. The principle of the responsibility to protect has been politically adopted by the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations as well as individual countries. The aim of the present thesis is to analyse the extent to which the gap between rhetorical support and practical implementation of this principle has been bridged by the international community. To this end, it will be examined if the international community has been implementing its responsibility to protect in the Sudanese region of Darfur, where the most serious crimes of international concern have been happening since early 2003.
Second semester University: Utrecht University.
humanitarian intervention, international relations, responsibility to protect, sovereignty, state responsibility