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Part 3 The Post 9/11-Era (2001–), 56 The NATO Intervention in Libya—2011

Ashley Deeks

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 June 2024

Precedent — Proportionality — Humanitarian intervention

This contribution discusses the Security Council-authorized intervention by NATO in Libya in 2011, in response to the Libyan government’s extensive violence against civilians. It sets out the facts and context of the crisis, the legal positions of the main protagonists (NATO states on one side and Russia and China on the other), and the international community’s reactions. It then surveys the debates about whether NATO’s use of force exceeded the Security Council authorization. Finally, it evaluates the precedential value of the intervention, including its effect on Russia’s and China’s willingness to authorize force in future Chapter VII situations and the intervention’s influence on the idea of a “responsibility to protect”, including its role in revealing the difficulty of calculating the proportionality of humanitarian responses.

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