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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.

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Cover International Law

8. International Organizations  

Dapo Akande

This chapter examines the legal framework governing international organizations. It begins with an examination of the history, role, and nature of international organizations. It is argued that although the constituent instruments and practices of each organization differ, there are common legal principles which apply to international organizations. The chapter focuses on the identification and exploration of those common legal principles. There is an examination of the manner in which international organizations acquire legal personality in international and domestic law and the consequences of that legal personality. There is also discussion of the manner in which treaties establishing international organizations are interpreted and how this differs from ordinary treaty interpretation. The legal and decision-making competences of international organizations are considered as are the responsibility of international organizations and their privileges and immunities. Finally, the chapter examines the structure and powers of what is the leading international organization—the United Nations (UN).

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9. The Individual and the International Legal System  

Robert McCorquodale

This chapter examines the role of the individual in the international legal system. It considers the direct rights and responsibilities of individuals under the international legal system; their capacity to bring international claims; and their ability to participate in the creation, development, and enforcement of international law. Particular examples from a wide range of areas of international law, including international human rights law, international criminal law, and international economic law, are used to illustrate the conceptual and practical participation of individuals in the international legal system. It is argued that individuals are participants in that system, and are not solely objects that are subject to States’ consent, though their degree of participation varies depending on the changing nature of the international legal system.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

1. The Main Legal Features of the International Community  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

This chapter introduces the main features of the international legal system, including the nature of international legal subjects, the lack of a central authority (and the resulting decentralization of legal ‘functions’), collective responsibility, the need for most international rules to be translated into national legislation, the range of States’ freedom of action, the overriding role of effectiveness, traditional and individualistic trends and emerging community obligations and rights, and the coexistence of the old and new patterns. These features provide a general preview of the more detailed and technical discussion of international legal rules and institutions undertaken in subsequent chapters.

Chapter

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3. The Principles of the International Legal System  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. The closest thing to a manifesto for international law is the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970 as resolution 2625 (XXV). This chapter first examines the seven basic principles of the resolution: the prohibition on the threat or use of force; the duty to settle disputes peacefully; the duty of non-intervention; the duty to co-operate; (v) the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; the principle of sovereign equality of States; and (vii) the principle of good faith. The discussions then turn to the nature of the Declaration; provisions on State responsibility; the implementation of international responsibility; personality and the scope of application of international law; international law in domestic courts; international law in international tribunals; the diplomatic protection of nationals; and international law outside tribunals.

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.

Chapter

Cover Cassese's International Law

7. International Organizations  

Paola Gaeta, Jorge E. Viñuales, and Salvatore Zappalà

This chapter discusses the international legal personality of international organizations, illustrating the origins of the phenomenon, the evolution of such organizations over time, and the different types of organization. It goes on to consider the source and scope of their status and powers within the international legal order, inter alia, by focusing on the principle of speciality (or conferral) and the theory of implied powers. The chapter then deals with the problem of the recognition of immunities of international organizations and their personnel, as well as with the debate surrounding the rules which relate to their responsibility under international law.