The concept or idea of responsibility to protect, is simply put, a balancing mechanism in international law which addresses the often-conflicting questions of prohibiting the use of force on the one hand; and protecting fundamental human rights on the other. Essentially, states have the responsibility to protect their citizens’ fundamental human rights, and the international community has a duty to step in when the state fails to do so. This is the crux of humanitarian interventions. This paper seeks to examine the origin, scope and necessity of humanitarian intervention, its trajectory across modern history, as well as its contemporary application and usefulness. The paper recommends a careful approach to ensuring that this right becomes a right properly so called, without usurping state sovereignty or neglecting the duty to protect.
Keywords: Humanitarian Interventions, Responsibility to Protect, Fundamental Human Rights, Sovereignty.
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UNILAG Law Review, (2022) Volume 5 Edition 2
About the Author
Senior State Counsel, Oyo State Ministry of Justice. Mediator, Oyo State Mediation Centre. LLB, BL.