Libya and Criteria for Humanitarian Intervention

No.3(2015)

Abstract
When seeking guidelines for worst-case scenario, military intervention under the Responsibility to Protect looks to the just war tradition. We tried to pinpoint the most important criteria, drawing on the Responsibility to Protect report, subsequent RtoP development and relevant authors to create a background to which compare the NATO’s operation in Libya. These criteria were not met during the intervention, as is shown in this article. The criterion of just cause could be seen as fulfilled, albeit this admission is done very grudgingly – the loss of life was not that large comparing to other tragedies that did not trigger intervention. The Libyan intervention is most questionable when it comes to right intentions and proportional means that suggest that the goal of interveners was to topple the regime not protect the civilians. These results bring the discussion of the weakness of the RtoP approach when it comes to defining, which populations should be helped under this doctrine and whether the nature of victims should be taken into consideration.

Keywords:
Humanitarian intervention; Libya; just war theory; Responsibility to Protect; RtoP; NATO
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