Failure of Integrating the Responsibility to Protect

Law in Syria and Its Implementation in Libya

Amer Salameh Al-Qaralleh

Abstract: The study examined the principles of Responsibility to Protect (thereafter R2P) and then analyzed its application in Libya and the possibility of its implementation in Syria, or the failure to do so. In this context, the study concluded that the adoption of the UNSC Resolution 1973 on Libya which indicated the enforcement of no-fly zone and taking all necessary measures against Libya to protect civilians has damaged the reputation of R2P and has also questioned the possibility and validity of its application in other parts of the world, especially in Syria. Given that the international community was able to manufacture consent regarding the Libyan case in only one month, but was unable to impose it in Syria despite documented human rights violations and bloodshed that occurred on a daily basis had negatively affected the creditability and efficiency of the doctrine and its possible application in future conflicts in which unarmed civilians might become the victims of their own state.

The inability to apply the R2P provides conclusive evidence of the reluctance of the international community to intervene militarily in Syria This has led to questioning and disapproval among international public opinion, which in turn emphasized the inability and lack of seriousness to intervene for humanitarian reasons and motivations in Syria.

The foremost objectives of this study were to try to answer the following two questions: (1) do events in Syria constitute a legal justification to intervenc for humanitarian reasons as in the Libyan case? And (2) what were the true reasons that prevented resorting to the use of force against Assad? The answers of these two questions form the core of this research paper.

Key words: International Law, Human Rights, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), Humanitarian Intervention, Use of Force, the Arab Spring

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