School of Politics and International Studies

Responsibility to Protect Student Journal


Volume 5 Issue 1 is now out!

The notion of responsibility is at the heart of not only the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, but also of international criminal justice and responses to mass atrocities more broadly. The global pandemic the world currently faces forces us to rethink how we conceive of responsibility today, and the implications for the international community’s ability to respond to mass atrocities. This is all the more crucial as we ponder on the fifteen years anniversary of the World Summit Outcome Document establishing the R2P doctrine we continue to refer to today. We discussed these subjects with the UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Responsibility to Protect, Dr. Karen Smith, in an interview with which we are opening this issue.  The scope of this issue is vast, ranging from articles on the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar and tensions between counterterrorism and R2P to evidentiary challenges of new technologies in international criminal trials and the European Union’s relation with R2P.

Read Volume 5 Issue 1 here.

Download Volume 5 Issue 1 here.



Call for Peer Reviewers – 2020

The R2P Student Journal is now recruiting new reviewers!

Since its inception, The Responsibility to Protect Student Journal has been run by a team of volunteers. We’re looking for three new peer reviewers to help us evaluate incoming submissions. This will take up to 10 hours a month on average. We are accepting applications from MA or PhD students enrolled in International Relations, Law, Conflict Studies, Human Rights and other related courses. Whilst prior reviewing experience is not necessary, applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of academic achievement and very good writing skills. Experience in editing is desired, not essential. Applications from outside of Europe and North America are strongly encouraged.

If you are interested in joining our team, please send your CV and a one-page cover letter to by 1st April 2020. In your cover letter, please mention what your area of expertise is. Please state “Reviewer application” in your email subject line.

More details here.



Call for Papers – 2020 volume

Around the world, human rights violations by state and non-state actors, both in and outside contexts of armed conflict, show clear signs of continued atrocity risks. Hate speech and inflammatory language often serve as precursors to hate crimes and early warnings of these risks. In fact, Human Rights Watch warned in its 2019 annual report that atrocities are the new normal.

Whilst some progress has been made in collecting and preserving evidence of gross human rights abuses, such as in Syria and Myanmar, discussions on atrocity, conflict prevention and criminal justice are harder and harder to place on the UN Security Council agenda. 

Understanding current responses to gross human rights violations, from multiple perspectives, is crucial. The Responsibility to Protect Student Journal is welcoming submissions for its first 2020 issue on this theme, from current or recent undergraduate or postgraduate students.

Submissions may draw upon the Responsibility to Protect, the ICC, peacekeeping and peacebuilding practices, the Women Peace and Security agenda, transitional justice, coercive responses to humanitarian crises (such as economic sanctions and military interventions) etc. This list is by no means exhaustive. 

We are looking for diverse analytical essays, book reviews, photo articles, poems, videos and artwork related to these topics for our journal and blog.

The Journal accepts papers between 2500 and 6000 words, in line with our submission guidelines. For the blog, analytical pieces should be between 500 and 800 words – we leave the creative ones up to you!

If you would like to learn more about our journal, see our seven previous issues on the R2P Student Journal webpage. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2020.

Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions, our team can be reached at We look forward to your submissions


Volume 4 Issue 1 is now out!

In their last annual report, Human Rights Watch warned that atrocities are the new normal. Across the world, ultranationalists are legitimising hate speech and inflammatory language, which often serve as precursors to hate crimes and act as early warnings of atrocity risks. Discussions on atrocity and conflict prevention, international criminal justice and sexual and reproductive health in conflict zones are becoming harder and harder to place on the agenda of the UN Security Council (UNSC). At the same time, despite the deadlock in the UNSC on ensuring that those responsible for gross human rights violations are brought to justice, some progress is being made in collecting and preserving evidence of crimes committed in Syria and Myanmar through the work of independent international investigative mechanisms established by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council (progress is also made regarding the collection, preservation and storying of evidence of ISIS crimes in Iraq, thanks to the work of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (UNITAD), established by the UNSC). It is against this background that our fourth volume is published, bringing to the fore six student papers that touch on a variety of subjects: from the developing nature and scope of international fact finding missions to conflict related sexual and gender based violence, and the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Libya and Syria.

Read Volume 4 Issue 1 here

Download Volume 4 Issue 1 here




The Special Issue on Transitional Justice is now out!


We are delighted to present the Special Issue on Transitional Justice.

For this Special Issue, we have selected four student essays that engage with the notion of transitional justice. From examining the tension between global and local approaches to justice, to analysing the success of transitional justice approaches in Kenya post-2008, this issue brings young voices into the ever-important debate about the nature of transitional justice.

Read the Special Issue here.

Download the Special Issue here.




Call for papers: Special issue on responses to mass atrocities

In the wake of the new year, the Responsibility to Protect Student Journal is welcoming submissions for its first 2019 issue!

We invite current or recent undergraduate or postgraduate students to submit a paper on responses to mass atrocities and related issues. We are keen to receive excellent essays displaying the full diversity of scholarship on these issues.

Thus far the Student Journal has published six issues showcasing student articles on mass atrocity prevention and similar topics, and we are committed to continue being a platform where student voices can be heard.

The Journal accepts papers between 2500 and 6000 words which meet the criteria outlined in the submission guidelines on our website. We also accept shorter analytical pieces of 500 to 800 words on a rolling basis for the blog, as well as creative work related to these themes in the form of poems, videos, photo articles etc. 

If you wish to learn more about our work, see previous issues, or want to submit an article or blog post, please visit the R2P Student Journal webpage. Deadline for submissions is 1 April 2019.

For further questions, our team may be reached via e-mail at We look forward to your submissions!


Volume 3, Issue 1 (2018) is now out

This new issue comprises six articles that touch on diverse themes, from the nature of human rights to international criminal justice.


Diversity and heterogeneity of academic debate is critical to our jo

urnal. Our efforts are focused towards creating a virtual academic platform that allows a plurality of young voices to speak about important subjects such as responses to mass violence and international criminal justice. In doing so, we are continuously extending the scope of the journal to cover and engage with critical perspectives on tangential subjects such as human rights and transitional justice.

Download Vol 3 Issue 1 2018






New issue: Special Issue on Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Together with STAND, The Student Led Movement To End Mass Atrocities, we are delighted to introduce the first-ever Special Issue of the Responsibility to Protect Student Journal – an issue entirely dedicated to important theoretical and practical questions concerning peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

For this Special Issue we have selected five student essays reflecting on issues around peacekeeping and peacebuilding. They touch on themes such as unarmed civilian peacekeeping, accountability in peacekeeping missions, the core principles of UN peacekeeping, ex-combatant reintegration and the problems of post-war reconstruction.

Read the issue here




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