Document Type


Publication Date

January 2012


The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a complicated and "emerging norm"' of international law that seeks to provide a means for the international community to prevent mass atrocity crimes occurring within the boundaries of a sovereign state.' Since its emergence in 2001, in the wake of humanitarian tragedies in Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Darfur, R2P has been hailed as a way of resolving what one commentator called the "problem from hell."3 Under R2P, however, the use of force is reserved for actions within the UN Charter's Chapter VII framework. As the Syria crisis has demonstrated, this position continues to hinder efforts by the international community to protect populations from mass atrocity crimes.