Norms, Institutions and UN Reform: The Responsibility to Protect

Published:  2006   |    By: Jutta Brunnée  & Stephen J. Toope  |    Volume 63, No. 3


In this essay, we assess the reform potential of the responsibility to protect. We place that assessment in a context of failure to agree on institutional reform initiatives. We ask why states were able to articulate the responsibility to protect, but we also ask whether or not that articulation is likely to have any meaning when institutional reforms seem stuck. We argue that, ultimately, norm development is inextricably linked to the institutions that shape, interpret, and apply the norms.

About the Author

Jutta Brunnee is Professor of Law and Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Stephen J. Toope is Professor of Law and President of the University of British Columbia.