Responsibility to Protect: A 5 point test


An interesting 5 point test on whether to invoke the Responsibility to Protect, presented by Gareth Evans, Australia’s foreign minister for eight years in his Project Syndicate article.

  1. “The first criterion is the potential harm to civilians: is the threat of a type and scale that prima facie justifies the use of force?”
  2. “Whether the primary purpose of any proposed military action is to halt or avert the threat to civilians”
  3. “The issue of last resort: has every non-military option been explored and found unlikely to succeed?”
  4. “Proportional means: are the scale, duration, and intensity of the proposed military action the minimum necessary to meet the threat in question?”
  5. “The final, and ultimately the most crucial, criterion for intervention is the balance of consequences: will military intervention do more harm than good?”
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