Vol 1 No 2

Dear Reader,

We are excited to share with you the second issue of the R2P Student Journal.

As Dr. Adrian Gallagher states in his introduction to this issue that the purpose of the Journal is to ‘raise questions, issues and concerns facing the R2P’ in its second decade. He identifies four research agendas where students can contribute: climate change and mass violence, the new UN Secretary-General, changing power balances, and the rise in non-state armed groups. To these, we add: gender and R2P, and the relationship between R2P and international criminal justice, particularly the International Criminal Court (ICC). Two articles in this issue focus on this important issue.

Enyeribe Oguh examines the scope and limits of the ICC and looks at mechanisms that can remedy some of the criticisms the ICC faces – primarily the lack of universal jurisdiction, its bias against Africa, and the AU’s response to this perceived bias. As Oguh emphasises, the ICC’s lack of universal jurisdiction means that investigations in places such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq depend on the UN Security Council’s political calculations. Addressing this, Oguh identifies two possible solutions for the ICC to become ‘more than a howling Rottweiler or … just a vexing elephant in the room’.

Oguh’s argument paves the way to Georgiana Epure’s article on the relationship between R2P and the responsibility to prosecute. There exists a complementary relationship between these two responsibilities, which share the goal of protecting people from mass atrocity crimes. However, as Epure argues, this mixture of political and judicial measures may work against this common goal when R2P and the responsibility to prosecute are used simultaneously as conflict management tools in on-going crises.

Moving away from the ICC and towards conceptual questions of the R2P, Joseph Jegat discusses the normative status of R2P, a ‘complex norm with a contested nature’. Examining Pillar III, Jegat argues that ‘contestation is both a normal and beneficial part of R2P’s global diffusion’, examining Brazil’s ‘Responsibility while Protecting’ and China’s ‘Responsible Protection’ concepts.

Caitlyn Duke also analyses R2P’s Pillar III, assessesing the success of NATO’s intervention in Libya. Focusing on NATO’s interpretation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, she concludes that the success of the first military intervention without host state consent was undermined by the underlying goal of regime change and the lack of post-conflict rebuilding.

We hope you find this second issue of the Journal both interesting and useful, and we look forward to receiving further submissions in the future. In particular, we encourage students to think and write about the research agendas outlined above.

Georgiana Epure and Dominique Fraser

This issue was originally published under our previous title, the Responsibility to Protect Student Journal.

Articles