Responsibility to Protect: A Legal Rule or Legal Farce?


The adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in 2001 was to herald a new way in thinking and a novel model for conflict building and management and the protection of individuals from mass atrocity crimes. Today, R2P represents fragmentation, and has been a source of consternation amongst academics, policy makers and various other actors in the international community. This paper examines the challenges facing this principle. Despite the fermentation of the doctrine nearly twelve years ago, there are still deep unsolved and divisive issues that threaten its operational success. The paper gives a brief overview of the development of R2P and examines the thorny issue of R2P’s status in international law and order. The debate around who in the international community has the right to intervene and under whose authority in order to ensure R2P is a success will also be discussed. The paper concludes by noting that whilst there are many challenges facing, they are not insurmountable.

Martin W. Nguruk, Pauline W. Nguru.