Humanitarian law, refugee protection and the responsibility to protect
Theorising the responsability to protect
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015
This chapter is concerned with a particular theoretical problem, namely how parallel but distinct norms can come into conflict with each other. It is easy to assume that norms with a broadly similar humanitarian impetus will prove complementary, but that need not be the case. The reason for this is that norms are implemented in a highly political environment in which considerations of domestic politics may dispose rulers to seek ways of avoiding responsibilities that their predecessors may have voluntarily accepted. The area of greater risk is with respect to refugees: here, the emerging R2P norm may be exploited by states seeking to free themselves of responsibilities under existing refugee norms. This chapter is directed at identifying how this risk might arise, and how it can be minimised.
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