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The doctrine of Responsibility to protect was developed in order to address the issue of mass atrocities, which were brought about by intrastate and ethnic conflicts as well as oppressive regimes throughout the world. It embraced the idea of the immunity of human rights, the moral need to intervene in cases that shock human conscience, and posed a challenge to the conventional understanding of sovereignty by redefining it as “responsibility”. However, this essay argues that the controversial implementation of the doctrine in Libya and its non-implementation in the case of Syria despite widespread humanitarian crises in terms of civilian casualties and massive population displacement amount to a failure.
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