Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Responsibility to Protect Human Rights and the RtoP: Prospective and Retrospective Responsibility

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Global Responsibility to Protect

This article argues that—contrary to the way that it is often framed—the first pillar of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) is not best understood as an instantiation of a broader international responsibility to protect human rights. Firstly, the RtoP reverts to a discourse of powerful savours and passive victims, which runs against advocates’ claim that the RtoP is a ‘rights-based norm’. Secondly, although it distinguishes between prevention and response, the RtoP is still fundamentally a discussion of retrospective responsibility. The responsibility to protect human rights, by contrast, is importantly prospective. The article’s separation of prospective/retrospective responsibility from the responsibility to prevent and to respond is an independent contribution, with broader significance beyond the RtoP context. Thirdly, the RtoP becomes activated when atrocity is building, imminent or underway; whereas the responsibility to protect human rights may be breached even without a clear causal link to harm.

Affiliations: 1: University of Sussex,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Global Responsibility to Protect — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation