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Title: The protection of civilians by UN peacekeeping missions under international law
Author: Foley, Conor G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 6756
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis considers the nature and extent of the United Nations’ obligations to protect the lives and physical integrity of civilians. Over 100,000 UN peacekeeping personnel are currently deployed on missions with authority from the Security Council to protect civilians at risk . Chapter VII of the UN Charter provides a UN mission with the jus ad bellum authority to use force, but is silent on the rules that would govern the resulting actions, which must either be found in the jus in bello provisions of international humanitarian law (IHL) or the regulations on the use of force contained in international human rights law. Most existing UN guidance stresses the applicability of IHL . This thesis argues that the positive and negative obligations of international human rights law will usually be more appropriate. Chapter VII contains no references to international human rights law and nor was this initially considered a concern of the Security Council. This has changed considerably in recent decades. It is increasingly accepted that humanitarian crises can justify the Security Council’s use of its Chapter VII powers, although this has been accompanied by growing concern about the lack of accountability with which they are sometimes used. The UN Charter specifies that its provisions take precedence over all other international treaties. There is no mechanism to judicially review the Security Council’s actions and the legal immunities that cover UN missions, makes it difficult to scrutinise their records. UN missions mandated to protect civilians have repeatedly failed to do so. Yet there does not appear to be a single case where the UN has taken disciplinary action against senior staff for failing to protect civilians in line with a mission mandate. Mechanisms need to be created to improve the accountability of UN missions to those that they are responsible for protecting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JX International law