Responsibility to protect

The MJ4All Methodology provides a structural way to implement the doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The doctrine of R2P states that if a government is unwilling or unable to protect its population, the international community has a moral obligation to protect the marginalized groups[1].   The doctrine of R2P divides into three phases: (1) prevention of conflict, (2) intervention during a conflict and (3) rebuilding after a conflict. Despite abuse of R2P to justify military interventions, the founders of the doctrine of R2P emphasize in their report that military intervention should only take place in exceptional circumstances, and the main focus should be on the prevention and the rebuilding phase and the transition from post-war to normalization. MJ4All works on legal empowerment and inclusion of marginalized groups in the countries of operation, which is fundamental in the prevention and rehabilitation phases.


The Microjustice4All legal issues are an essential part of preventing violent conflict. Conflicts mostly occur where a part of the population is not integrated into society, do not have access to education, healthcare, public services and their land is unprotected. People can only be protected from harm if they are included within society and inclusion in society is dependent on having the necessary legal documentation in order. By evaluating the legal needs of the population, Microjustice4All provides a structural method for identifying which groups are excluded from society, so that these groups can be brought within society and protected. The Legal Inclusion Index, that MJ4All is developing, will be instrumental for this. Systematic identification of excluded groups enables systematic development co-operation. The acceptance of the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect means that it is not optional for the international community to intervene when there are excluded groups but that there is a moral obligation. Microjustice4All offers a structural tool for fulfilling this obligation.


As well as preventing conflict, Microjustice4All legal services play an important role in post-crisis rehabilitation and the transition from post-war to normalization. After a violent conflict, many refugees and internally displaced persons face difficulties with obtaining civil documentation, the restoration of property and land, restoration of contractual relations, access to pension rights and problems with their bank. A prominent example was the situation after the war in the Former Yugoslavia[2].


Unless war victims and displaced populations are legally rehabilitated, legal insecurity can lead to renewed conflict. This vicious circle can be broken by structural implementation of the Microjustice4All Methodology.






[1] The Responsibility to Protect, December 2001, Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. 

[2]See the Preface for details of our work in the Former Yugoslavia.





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