The Responsibility to Protect is being touted as a new approach to protecting populations from mass atrocities. Certainly it would be encouraging to believe that an end to genocides, large scale ethnic cleansing and large scale loss of life were within humanity's reach. However, whilst the holistic approach of the doctrine is to be commended, the legality of the proposal requires further analysis. This paper specifically addresses the evolution of the legality of humanitarian intervention and looks at whether the Responsibility to Protect doctrine advances the legality of the use of force for humanitarian ends.
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