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The Responsibility to Protect

Jared Genser, Irwin Cotler, Desmond Tutu, and Vaclav Havel


This book provides an overview on how the “responsibility to protect,” (RtoP) a contemporary principle of international law, has developed and analyze how best to apply it to current and future humanitarian crises. The “responsibility to protect” is a doctrine unanimously adopted by the UN World Summit in 2005, which says that all states have an obligation to protect their own citizens from mass atrocities, which includes genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Its adoption and application has generated a passionate debate in law schools, professional organizations ... More

Keywords: responsibility to protect, UN World Summit, mass atrocities, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, crises

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199797769
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797769.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jared Genser, author
Perseus Strategies

Irwin Cotler, author
Canadian Parliament

Desmond Tutu, author

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Part I The Development of the Responsibility to Protect

3 Defining the Crimes

Tarun Chhabra and Jeremy B. Zucker*

Part II Regional Perspectives

6 Africa

Ademola Abass*

7 Asia and the Pacific

Noel M. Morada

9 Latin America and the Caribbean

Gilberto Marcos Antonio Rodrigues*

10 Middle East

Mohamed S. Helal*

Part III Case Studies

11 Darfur, Sudan

Andrew S. Natsios and Zachary Scott

12 Burma (Myanmar)

Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro and Meghan Barron

13 Kenya

Meredith Preston-McGhie and Serena Sharma

14 Sri Lanka

Damien Kingsbury

16 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Kjell Magne Bondevik and Kristen Abrams

Part IV The Future of the Responsibility to Protect

Lessons and Challenges

Gareth Evans

End Matter