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Chapter

Cover International Law

10. State responsibility  

This chapter illustrates the concept of responsibility in international law. Within international law, the term ‘responsibility’ has long been understood to denote how fault or blame is attributable to a legal actor for the breach of an international legal obligation. State responsibility remains the archetypal and thus most developed form of international responsibility. Nevertheless, other international actors apart from States may also bear rights and obligations under international law. The result of such capacity is the potential to bear responsibility for a breach of an international legal obligation. International law also provides for what are termed ‘circumstances precluding wrongfulness’, through which an act which would normally be internationally wrongful is not deemed as such. In such situations, international responsibility is not engaged. These are akin to defences or excuses in municipal legal orders.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

12. International State Responsibility for Wrongful Acts  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

The chapter begins by discussing the history of the codification of the law of State responsibility. It then considers the current regulation of State responsibility, by distinguishing the ‘ordinary’ legal regime and the ‘aggravated’ State responsibility, and goes on to explore the main differences between the two regimes. It focuses on the elements of the internationally wrongful act, particularly on the attribution of conduct to a State and the relevance of fault and damage. In addition, it examines the circumstances which preclude wrongfulness and the consequences of the internationally wrongful act (with particular reference to the obligation to provide reparation).

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

6. Scope of Application  

Sarah Joseph and Barrie Sander

A state is not responsible for every act or omission which harms human rights, regardless of the perpetrator or the location. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the scope of application of a state’s obligations under international human rights law. That is, when do human rights duties apply? This chapter first defines key concepts and identifies the duty-bearers and beneficiaries of human rights law. Then it explains the instances in which a state will be held responsible for the actions or omissions of particular persons or entities. Finally, it addresses the territorial scope of a state’s human rights duties.

Chapter

Cover International Law

14. The Character and Forms of International Responsibility  

James Crawford and Simon Olleson

This chapter begins with an overview of the different forms of responsibility/liability in international law, and then focuses on the general character of State responsibility. The law of State responsibility deals with three general questions: (1) has there been a breach by a State of an international obligation; (2) what are the consequences of the breach in terms of cessation and reparation; and (3) who may seek reparation or otherwise respond to the breach as such, and in what ways? As to the first question, the chapter discusses the constituent elements of attribution and breach, as well as the possible justifications or excuses that may preclude responsibility. The second question concerns the various secondary obligations that arise upon the commission of an internationally wrongful act by a State, and in particular the forms of reparation. The third question concerns issues of invocation of responsibility, including the taking of countermeasures.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

27. Multilateral public order and issues of responsibility  

International law has remained imprecise with respect to the scope and consequences of serious, systemic illegality, but there have been developments that have made collective action under law possible. The chapter reviews the objective consequences of illegal acts, covering peremptory norms (ius cogens), the obligation not to recognize a situation as lawful, and the obligation of putting an end to an unlawful situation.

Chapter

Cover International Law Concentrate

9. State responsibility  

The law of international responsibility sets out the legal consequences arising from a breach by a State of its international obligations. It should be distinguished from ‘primary rules’ of international law, which lay down international obligations. International responsibility arises when a certain act or omission is wrongful, ie it is attributed to a State and it amounts to a violation of its ‘primary’ obligations. The international responsibility may be excused under certain strict circumstances, such as consent or necessity. Otherwise, the responsible State should cease the wrongful conduct and, in case of damage, it should provide reparation to the injured State, in the form of restitution, compensation, and satisfaction.

Book

Cover Family Law

Polly Morgan

Family Law illustrates the diverse applications of modern family law through real-world scenarios. It starts off by looking at marriage and civil partnership. It moves on to financial provision on divorce and cohabitants and remedies not dependent on divorce. It looks at financial support for children and the various protections in place for domestic abuse. Parenthood and parental responsibility are examined in detail. Children’s rights and welfare are also looked into. Finally, the book considers private law disputes and children and child protection in terms of state support and care, supervision, and adoption.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

20. The Protection of the Environment  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

This chapter focuses on international environmental law. First, it covers certain old precedents and then examines the emergence and consolidation of environmental principles between 1972 and 2020, with particular attention to the emergence of customary international law norms (prevention, co-operation, environmental impact assessment) in this area. Secondly, it surveys the substance of international environmental law, focusing on climate change as a prominent illustration of law-making in this field, and examining compliance procedures, as developed since the end of the 1980s. Thirdly, it discusses the operation of State responsibility and civil liability mechanisms for environmental harm.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

9. Article 3: prohibition of torture  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter the absolute ban on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment that Article 3 requires. The basic terms (torture and inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment) are defined. The absolute nature of the ban is discussed. The chapter also discusses the broad nature of state responsibility to prevent suffering that is severe enough to violate Article 3. Article 3 creates limits to what is acceptable as punishment and, more importantly, applies in a wide range of situations for which the state has responsibility in respect to otherwise lawful activity not involving an intention to harm.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

25. The conditions for international responsibility  

This chapter discusses the basis and character of state responsibility, attribution to the state, breach of an international obligation, and circumstances precluding wrongfulness. This chapter focuses on the articulation of the law of responsibility through the ILC’s Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts.

Book

Cover Cases & Materials on International Law

Martin Dixon, Robert McCorquodale, and Sarah Williams

Cases and Materials on International Law, a topical companion for study placing international law directly in the context of contemporary debate, offers broad coverage of international law, and is suitable for use alongside a range of course structures and teaching styles. The book provides readers with a comprehensive selection of case law extracts for their studies. Extracts have been chosen from a wide range of historical and contemporary cases to illustrate the reasoning processes of the courts and to show how legal principles are developed. The book contains the essential cases and materials needed in order to understand and analyse the international legal order, providing notes on selected extracts to explain the complexities of the law. The sixth edition provides expanded coverage of topical areas such as: the use of force in Iraq and Syria and the threat of terrorism; international criminal law and the International Criminal Court; and developments in human rights and international environmental law. The new edition considers the perspectives of non-western and feminist scholars. It also updates core areas of international law, including sovereignty over territory and judicial sovereignty, the law of the sea, state responsibility, international legal personality and peaceful settlement.

Chapter

Cover International Law

7. State responsibility  

This chapter discusses the international law of responsibility as primarily reflected in the 2001 International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. It opens in Section 7.2 with an overview of some of the core principles and elements of state responsibility for wrongful acts. Section 7.3 discusses the issue of state attribution before Section 7.4 examines joint and collective responsibility. Section 7.5 discusses the various circumstances that may preclude the wrongfulness of conduct otherwise in violation of a (primary) legal obligation. Section 7.6 looks into the consequences of state responsibility while Section 7.7 discusses who may be entitled to invoke state responsibility. Section 7.8 examines the rules on diplomatic protection and Section 7.9 provides a brief overview of the responsibility of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover International Law

7. State responsibility  

This chapter discusses the international law of responsibility as primarily reflected in the 2001 International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. It opens in Section 7.2 with an overview of some of the core principles and elements of state responsibility for wrongful acts. Section 7.3 discusses the issue of state attribution before Section 7.4 examines joint and collective responsibility. Section 7.5 discusses the various circumstances that may preclude the wrongfulness of conduct otherwise in violation of a (primary) legal obligation. Section 7.6 looks into the consequences of state responsibility while Section 7.7 discusses who may be entitled to invoke state responsibility. Section 7.8 examines the rules on diplomatic protection and Section 7.9 provides a brief overview of the responsibility of international organizations.

Chapter

Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

26. Consequences of an internationally wrongful act  

In the event of an internationally wrongful act by a state or other subject of international law, other states or subjects may be entitled to respond. This may be done by invoking the responsibility of the wrongdoer, seeking cessation and/or reparation, or (if no other remedy is available) possibly by taking countermeasures. This chapter discusses international law governing cessation, reparation, invocation.

Book

Cover Cassese's International Law

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalá

This book provides an authoritative account of international law. It preserves and extends Antonio Cassese’s exceptional combination of a historically informed, conceptually strong, and practice-infused analysis of international law, comparing the treatment of most issues in classical international law with the main subsequent developments of this constantly evolving field. Part I of the book covers the origins and foundations of the international community. Part II is about the subjects of the international community, including States, international organizations, individuals, and other international legal subjects. Part III examines the main processes of international law-making and the normative interactions between different norms, of both domestic and international law. Part IV studies the mechanisms of implementation of international law, including State responsibility, diplomatic and judicial means of dispute settlement, and enforcement mechanisms. Part V covers a number of areas which have undergone particular development and reached a high level of specialization, namely, UN law, the law governing the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law, international environmental law, and international economic law (trade and investment).