For some time now, the problem of an inadequate response to the humanitarian crisis around the world to protect human populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity has persisted. It was against the significant legal difficulties, and challenges of humanitarian intervention as illustrated above, that it was argued that there was a need for an to efficient way to respond to the on-going humanitarian crises thus the introduction of the "Responsibility to Protect idea." The study has briefly touched on the creation, development and eventual adoption of the responsibility to protect (R2P) norm and more specifically. The purpose of this study is to critically examine the Nations Security Council's responsibility with regards to protection civilians from mass atrocities in light of the 2011 Syrian crisis. This is premised especially from pillar three of R2P which states that; "the international community has a responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other means to protect populations from these crimes. If a State is manifestly failing to protect its populations, the international community must be prepared to take collective action to protect populations, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations." The main question of this study is to analyse whether the responsibility to protect doctrine establishes a legal obligation on the United Nations Security Council to act in situations of mass atrocities such the case of Syria? The study has argued that much as the responsibility to protect doctrine neither establishes nor supports the idea that the Security Council is under a legal obligation to act when there is occurrence of humanitarian crisis, however, I have argued that article 24 together with other articles in the United Nations Charter create a legal obligation on the United Nations Security Council to act.
Mini Dissertation (LLM)--University of Pretoria, 2015.