Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines failures by outside actors to protect populations from mass atrocities such as genocide and crimes against humanity. It begins by tracing the origins of ‘failures to protect critiques’, whereby many observers express moral outrage against bystander states which they believe should have done more. In this discourse, mass atrocities are attributed to a combination of acts by perpetrators and omissions by bystanders. The chapter analyses the legal basis for applying the ‘failure to protect critique’ to both perpetrators and bystanders. In particular, it discusses the extent to which international law allows holding individual bystander states responsible for a failure to protect. It also discusses the failure to protect-critique on the United Nations and other international organizations. The chapter suggests that international law justifies and even requires inaction among bystander states and international organizations when mass atrocities occur.

Keywords: mass atrocity, genocide, crime against humanity, bystander state, failure to protect critique, international law, United Nations, international organization

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.