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Stopping the Killing: The International Criminal Court and Juridical Determination of the Responsibility to Protect

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This paper argues that an enhanced role for the International Criminal Court in determining when a government has failed in its Responsibility to Protect (R2P) could help develop a faster, more effective, more predictable, and more impartial R2P enforcement mechanism. We outline how a juridical R2P determination process by the ICC could be actualised, and we argue that such juridical R2P determination could facilitate timely and legal multilateral actions to stop violence. We also argue that juridical R2P determination by the ICC could dissuade opportunistic and unilateral violations of national sovereignty made in the name of R2P enforcement, and reduce the concerns of R2P critics that the principle may be misused. Finally, we maintain that an enhanced R2P role for the ICC could strengthen the credibility of the United Nations Security Council, and could be politically appealing to its five permanent member states.


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