UN Security Council Practice and the Search for International Justice: The Syrian Example

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The arrest in March 2011 of 15 children in Daraa, Syria, triggered local protests that grew rapidly. The Government responded with force and the ensuing violence escalated into a civil war that continues today. Separate independent reports have since found evidence of widespread violations of international law including the use of chemical weapons, massacres, torture, sexual violence, unlawful killings and an array of other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

With egregious violations of international law apparent, and an enormous and growing refugee crisis, the gaze of the international community has fixed upon the Security Council to act. Calls for a referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) are growing, however, hope for justice through United Nations (UN) Security Council action have been misplaced. What then for justice in Syria?

This paper will critically examine the tension between international justice and the practice of the Security Council in the context of the civil unrest in Syria. Moving beyond the peace versus justice debate, this work will examine the imperatives of international justice and the very modus operandi of the Security Council as it has evolved over time as a matter of custom and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJul 2014
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

ID: 169607253