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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.

Book

Cover International Law

Gleider Hernández

International Law presents a comprehensive approach to the subject, providing a contemporary account of international law. The text offers critical and stimulating coverage of the central issues in public international law, introducing the key areas of debate. It encourages readers to engage with areas of legal debate and controversy and consider how they affect the world today. Topics covered include: the structure of international law; the subjects within the field of international law; international law in operation; international disputes and responses to breaches in international law; and specialized regimes, which include the law of armed conflict, refugee law, international criminal law, the law of the sea, the environment and protection, and international economic law.

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11. State Responsibility  

State responsibility arises from the violation by a State (or other international legal person) of an international obligation that can be one of customary international law or arising from a treaty. The violation must be due to conduct attributable to a State. This chapter discusses the nature of State responsibility; attribution; breach of an international obligation of the State; circumstances precluding wrongfulness (defences); consequences of a breach; enforcement of a claim; and treatment of aliens.

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

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13. International criminal law  

This chapter examines the fundamental concepts and notions of international criminal law, which is linked to other key areas of international law, particularly human rights, international humanitarian law, immunities, and jurisdiction. In particular, there is a focus on the concept of individual criminal responsibility under international law. The four core crimes are considered; namely, genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and the crime of aggression. Moreover, attention is paid to two unique forms of participation in international crimes, namely, command responsibility and joint criminal enterprise. Finally, the chapter addresses enforcement of international criminal law, particularly through international criminal tribunals, with an emphasis on the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Chapter

Cover International Law Concentrate

3. The law of treaties  

This chapter examines the rules of international law governing the birth, the life, and the death of treaties. Treaties, a formal source of international law, are agreements in written form between States or international organizations that are subject to international law. A treaty falls under the definition of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), no matter what form or title it may have. The most important factor is that it sets out obligations or entitlements under international law. The VCLT enumerates the rules governing the ‘birth’, ie the steps from the negotiation until the entry into force of the treaty; the ‘life’, ie the interpretation and application of the treaty; and its ‘demise’, ie its termination. The two fundamental tenets are, on the one hand, the principle ‘pacta sunt servanda’ and, on the other, the principle of contractual freedom of the parties.

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Cover International Law

7. The law of treaties  

This chapter describes the law of treaties. As defined in Article 2(2) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), a treaty can be embodied in a single instrument, or in two or more related instruments. It is a written agreement; between international legal subjects; and governed by international law. In short, a treaty must be written in order to fall under the scope of the VCLT. Although this does not mean that oral agreements have no effect in international law, it does mean that the law of treaties embodied in the VCLT does not govern oral agreements. While States are the most active actors entering into treaty relations, international organizations may also enter into treaties, whether between themselves or with a State. Ultimately, because a treaty’s purpose is to create binding international legal obligations, the law of treaties applies to agreements governed by international law.

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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.

Book

Cover International Law

Edited by Malcolm Evans

International Law is a collection of diverse writings from leading scholars in the field that brings together a broad range of perspectives on all the key issues in international law. Featuring chapters written by those actively involved in teaching and practice, this fifth edition explains the principles of international law, and exposes the debates and challenges that underlie it. The book contains seven parts. Part I provides the history and theory of international law. Part II looks at the structure of the international law obligation. Part III covers the subjects of the international legal order. Part IV looks at the scope of sovereignty. Part V looks at responsibility. Part VI considers how to respond to breaches in international obligations. Finally, Part VII looks at the various applications of international law and explains issues relating to the law of the sea, environmental law, investment law, criminal law, human rights law, migration law, and the law of armed conflict.