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Has the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Been a Real Change in Humanitarian Intervention? An Analysis from the Crisis in Libya

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image of International Community Law Review

Abstract One of the most relevant axiological clashes in the international arena occurs between the concepts of sovereignty and human rights. This clash involves the questions of legality and legitimacy and is highlighted in the practice of humanitarian intervention. An attempt to bridge this gap was made in 2001 with the doctrine of the ‘responsibility to protect’ – adopted in 2005 by the UN. It proposes doctrinal, practical and ethical shifts in the treatment of humanitarian interventions, bringing along a more holistic approach with the proposal of responsibilities to react, to prevent and to rebuild. 7 years after its adoption and in light of the recent development of the military action against Libya, where the ‘responsibility to protect’ was called upon for the first time, the present article analyses the doctrinal, practical and ethical aspects of the ‘responsibility to protect’ aiming to verify whether the doctrine has been a real change in humanitarian interventions.

Affiliations: 1: Faculdade de Direito do Sul de Minas São Paulo Brazil


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