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Patrick joined Edge Hill University as a Lecturer in Law in 2018, after completing his PhD in international law at the University of Liverpool. His PhD investigated the international community’s ‘Responsibility to Protect’ populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Specifically, this research focussed on the use of force and coercive measures by states when the United Nations Security Council fails to uphold this responsibility. More generally, Patrick’s research interests are in conflict and security law, the law of armed conflict, and the use of force in international law. Previously, Patrick studied an LLM and an LLB at the University of Liverpool. He is also a Regional Coordinator (Middle East Region) for the Journal on the Use of Force and
September 2016 - September 2017
This article builds upon previous research by the author into the mechanics and interpretation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which sought to explain the apparent contradiction between the status of the prohibition as a non-derogable norm of jus cogens and its well-recognised ‘exceptions’. Turning to the role of state consent within the prohibi...
The legal nature of the Security Council's responsibility to maintain international peace and security and, by extension, its responsibility to protect, has been left relatively unexplored in academic literature. This paper seeks to reexamine the legal nature of the Security Council's primary responsibility, in order to determine whether the Counci...
In the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the international community accepted the emerging notion of the ‘responsibility to protect’. The world recognised a primary responsibility on States to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Additionally, they recognised a ‘secondary’ responsibility on the i...
Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter, detailing the prohibition of the threat or use of force between states, is undoubtedly one of international law’s most fundamental norms. Yet, its phrasing is awkward and ‘unhappy’, as one Delegate described it during the drafting of the Charter at San Francisco in 1945. Over 70 years of debate has yet to...
In the 2005 World Summit Outcome, the international community accepted the emerging notion of the ‘responsibility to protect’. The world recognised a primary responsibility on States to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Additionally, they recognised a ‘secondary’ responsibility on the international community, including the United Nations, to assist and encourage States in their primary responsibility to protect. The emergence of the ‘responsibility to protect’ is a relatively new development in international law - it is at the frontline of the international community’s efforts towards ensuring that States adhere to the principles of international law in response to mass atrocities within their own jurisdiction. It also calls for the wider international community to act in responding to such situations, highlighting legal and legitimate foundations upon which to assist or intervene when a State fails in its primary responsibility. However, if both the State (with a primary responsibility) and the Security Council (with a secondary responsibility) fail to act in response to the said mass atrocities, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for the international community to take appropriate action – especially if the use of military force is required. Therefore, this thesis will look beyond the Security Council for legal alternatives to its inaction. It shall assess popular arguments for alternative routes within the UN, such as through the General Assembly, and also outside of the UN system too, whether unilaterally or through regional organisations. With the fundamental principles of the prohibition of force and non-intervention as the focus of legal analysis, the original purpose of the UN collective security system will be traced from the origins of the Charter so that previously-rejected theories may shed new light on the interpretation of these important legal foundations. By evaluating the legality, and indeed the appropriateness, of options outside of the Security Council, the thesis will provide an opportunity to ask whether such alternatives can, or should, form part of a ‘tertiary’ responsibility to protect. This is the concept of responsibilities on States and regional groups beyond the remit of the Security Council. It is an idea that has been briefly mentioned by some commentators, but is relatively unexplored in this context outside of the UN framework. And so, this thesis will consider in much more detail whether this ‘emerging doctrine’ of the responsibility to protect could provide an alternative basis for reacting to mass atrocities and a way around the paralysis States face when the Security Council fails to do so. Otherwise, the development of the doctrine is halted at this point and may not develop beyond these circumstances.