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It feels wrong to watch the news about Syria and the Central African Republic night after night without seeing any effective international action being taken to stop the killing, displacement and rape. After millions of civilians were killed in the Second World War, the United Nations was set up specifically “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. So why doesn’t it? Hugo Slim investigates the current state of international politics regarding the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect.

On December 7th the Saïd Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted a seminar entitled “Protecting Civilians: Oxford and Oxfam working together on the ethics of war, weapons and humanitarian aid.” The seminar showcased two projects led by the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) that engage with outside actors to leverage humanitarian ethics in humanitarian crises and armed conflicts.