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Domestic Violence and International Law argues that certain forms of domestic violence are a violation of international human rights law.
The argument is based on the international law principle that, where a state fails to protect a vulnerable group of people from harm, whether perpetrated by the state or private actors, it has breached its obligations to protect against human rights violation.
This book provides a comprehensive legal analysis for why a state should be accountable in international law for allowing women to suffer extreme forms of domestic violence and how this can help individual victims. The author pushes the boundaries of the doctrine of states' 'Responsibility to Protect', a developing area of international law, which holds states responsible for the failure to protect vulnerable groups from political violence, such as ethnic cleansing, mass rape, sexual slavery or torture. Where the violence is equivalent, this obligation ought to extend to victims of private violence.
It is irrelevant that the violence is perpetrated by individuals and not state actors such as soldiers or the police. The state's breach of its responsibility is in its failure to act effectively in domestic violence cases; and in its silent endorsement of the violence, it becomes complicit.
The book seeks to reformulate academic and political debate on domestic violence and the responsibility of states under international law. It is based on empirical data combined with an honest assessment of whether or not domestic violence is recognised by the international community as a human rights violation.