Examining the impact of the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine on state sovereignty in contemporary international law

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dc.contributor.advisor Mullally, Siobhan en
dc.contributor.author Butler, Seán
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-21T11:54:41Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.date.submitted 2016
dc.identifier.citation Butler, S. 2016. Examining the impact of the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine on state sovereignty in contemporary international law. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 335 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/4140
dc.description.abstract The principle of state sovereignty is the cornerstone upon which international law has traditionally been constructed, in particular with regards to the twin principles of sovereign equality and the prohibition of external interference in the domestic jurisdiction of a state. The increasing importance of international institutions, most notably the United Nations (UN), in global governance has challenged this primacy of sovereignty, in particular with regards to absolutist ‘Westphalian’ conceptions of the principle, and consequently has posed questions regarding how this evolution has impacted the law’s theoretical foundations and fundamental precepts. One such challenge to Westphalian sovereignty is the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) doctrine, a ‘soft law’ norm that seeks to empower the international community to take action to halt or prevent atrocity crimes, including a provision for UN Security Council-authorised military action to be undertaken as a last resort. This thesis seeks to examine how R2P has impacted the contemporary functioning of sovereignty, particularly focusing upon the actions of UN-authorised forces in Côte d’Ivoire and Libya in 2011 and the international response to the Syrian Civil War (from 2011 onwards). It argues that the conditional variant of sovereignty central to the conception of R2P has, through a decoupling of governmental sovereignty from popular sovereignty, the potential to transform the international legal system from one grounded in the horizontality of the Westphalian structure into a more hierarchical arrangement of relationships between the UN, governments and the populations of states. The thesis further examines the impact of this shift upon the limits to UN Security Council power (in particular regarding the question of regime change) and the content of the right to self-determination, and analyses how this transformation is threatened by interpretative cleavages over the content of sovereignty between Western states and the so-called ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). en
dc.description.sponsorship Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship); Law, College of Business and Law, University College Cork (Aidan Synnott Prize) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language English en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2016, Seán Butler. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject International law en
dc.subject Sovereignty en
dc.subject R2P en
dc.subject Libya en
dc.subject Syria en
dc.subject UN Security Council en
dc.subject Responsibility to protect en
dc.subject Humanitarian intervention en
dc.title Examining the impact of the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine on state sovereignty in contemporary international law en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Law) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Indefinite en
dc.check.date 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Irish Research Council en
dc.contributor.funder Law, College of Business and Law, University College Cork en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Law en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat Both hard copy thesis and e-thesis en
ucc.workflow.supervisor s.mullally@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Autumn 2016 en

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© 2016, Seán Butler. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2016, Seán Butler.
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