Humanitarian Crises and International Law: The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute

This roundtable discussion brings together scholars from law, politics and criminology to explore the challenges posed by ‘non-sovereign spaces’ to the international community.

The talk will include the agenda of protecting civilians, preventing human rights violations, and promoting security and justice in such spaces with de facto regimes.

Professor William Schabas (Middlesex) will lead the discussion and will be seconded by renowned experts and scholars in the field.

With humanitarian crises mounting over the past two decades, the international community has shouldered a double responsibility: to protect civilians and victims, and to prosecute perpetrators of gross human rights violations and mass atrocity crimes. Contemporary humanitarian crises emerge where states and governments fail to protect their citizens, or worse, become and join perpetrators of human rights violations on a massive scale.

Both interventions to protect, and to prosecute are often situated in ‘non-sovereign spaces’, where mass violence is embedded in trajectories of long-term conflict.   In this context questions arise as to the relationship between security and justice, between international law and international politics, and between different forms of intervention.

This roundtable event will address the problems in the emerging landscape of international responsibilisation from the perspective of international law, and through interdisciplinary lenses.

  • What is the responsibility of the international community in relation to de facto regimes, and what are the obligations of third states?
  • How can violations of international human rights laws be prevented and prosecuted in such spaces?
  • When is it legitimate to intervene where the consent of a State is lacking?

Location Details

Seminar Room G.32
School of Law
The Liberty Building
University of Leeds

The Liberty Building is no 16 on the campus map.