Responsibility to Protect Haiti
American Society of International Law, Insight
Linda A. Malone
10 March 2010
On January 12, 2010, a massiveearthquake struck Haiti, essentiallydestroying the Haitian governmentinfrastructure. According to remarks byRene Magloire, former Minister ofJustice and Special Advisor to thePresident and Ministry of Justice, thepresidential palace, the ministry ofjustice building, and the legislativepalace were destroyed. Police stationsand prisons were damaged, allowing thousands of detainees and prisonersto escape. More than 200 thousand died, more than 300 thousand wereinjured, more than 450 thousand became refugees, more than 400 thousandhomes were destroyed, more than 120 thousand homes damaged, and morethan a million people were left without shelter.For five years Magloire andother justice officials had been working on re-establishing the Haitian judicialsystem and the rule of law.
Earthquakes, tsunamis, and climate disruption have focused internationalattention on environmental disasters, natural and anthropogenic, and theability of the global community to respond adequately and immediately. ThisInsight surveys the structures for consensual relief efforts by states and theUnited Nations, accepted international norms for humanitarian intervention inenvironmental disasters, and how these norms might be modified byinternational recognition of theResponsibility to Protect. (…)