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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

First formulated in 2005, the Responsibility to Protect has emerged onto the international legal landscape. This doctrine recently was expressed in the 2011 United Nations-authorized humanitarian intervention in Libya. Despite this promising start, the doctrine—designed to protect civilians from violence caused by their government or violence which the government is powerless to stop—has done nothing for the civilians in Syria. This Note explores the history of the Responsibility to Protect, identifies its flaws, analyzes proposed reforms, and ends with a suggested revision to the doctrine. This suggested revision would allow the political inertia of states to work for, rather than against, civilians.

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