Transitional Justice, Domestic Change and the Role of the International Community
Edited By Klaus Bachmann and Dorota Heidrich
Dorota Heidrich - Responsibility to Protect – a Tool for Atrocity Crimes Prevention?
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Responsibility to Protect – An (In)effective Tool for Atrocity Crimes Prevention?
One of the most significant challenges for the international community in over two decades with regard to Human Rights protection and humanitarian issues has been mass atrocity crimes prevention. It is to this purpose that the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) was devised.1 It is rooted in the endeavours to find the right way of reacting to heinous international crimes and – more generally – systematic abuses of Human Rights both in times of peace and during violent conflicts. The issue became especially important after the numerous failures of the international community to avert and halt horrific events in a series of crises around the world during 1990s. There is a stark contrast between the reluctance of the international community to take action in Rwanda 1994 and Srebrenica 1995 on the one hand, and the intervention in Kosovo 1999 and Libya 2011. In all these cases, there was no clear pattern which would have allowed to reconcile the principle of sovereignty with the protection of civilians. As Kofi Annan put it: “If humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of Human Rights that offend every precept of our common humanity?”2 In its report of 2000, the International Independent Commission on Kosovo left no doubts that “experience from the NATO intervention in Kosovo suggests...
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