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Diplomatic Protection$
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Chittharanjan F. Amerasinghe

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199212385

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212385.001.0001

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A Duty to Protect?

A Duty to Protect?

Chapter:
(p.79) 9 A Duty to Protect?
Source:
Diplomatic Protection
Author(s):

Chittharanjan F. Amerasinghe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199212385.003.0009

This chapter explores the duty or absence of a duty of States to protect their nationals abroad against a host State. The traditional view that a State has a right to protect nationals, but no duty to do so, is upheld. Hence, under international law a State has no duty to protect its nationals. This is so, even though, pursuant to the laws of some States, the State may have a duty — enforceable under national law — to protect its nationals. Those national provisions must be regarded as insufficient to establish a consistent practice with an opinio iuris giving rise to a customary rule of international law. The duty to protect, recognized in some national laws, is not a duty which States regard as obligatory even if the practice is sufficiently widespread — which it may not be.

Keywords:   diplomatic protection, state, nationals, opinio iuris

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