The Law of International Responsibility

ISBN : 9780199296972

James Crawford; Alain Pellet; Simon Olleson; Kate Parlett
1376 Pages
177 x 249 mm
Pub date
May 2010
Oxford Commentaries on International Law
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The law of international responsibility plays a fundamental role in the modern system of international law, surpassed by none and paralleled only by the law of treaties. The volume seeks to cover the entirety of the field of international responsibility, with a particular focus on the work of the International Law Commission. It provides detailed discussion and analysis of the historically predominant topics of State responsibility, on which the ILC completed its work in 2001, and the specific sub-topic of diplomatic protection, work on which was completed by the ILC in 2006. However, it also covers both the topic of responsibility of international organizations, on which the ILC's work is ongoing (a set of draft Articles having been adopted on first reading in 2009), and that of liability for harmful activities not prohibited under international law on which the ILC adopted drafts in 2001 and 2006. The volume comprises contributions on specific issues in the international law of responsibility, authored by an international team of specialists in the field, which provides a comprehensive commentary of all aspects of the topic. The chapters are detailed in their coverage, discussing both international jurisprudence and doctrinal controversies, as well as providing a critical assessment of the relevant work of the ILC. In addition to providing detailed consideration of the general secondary rules of international responsibility, coverage is also included of certain specific systems of responsibility and their relationship with the general rules under a number of specialised regimes, in particular under certain human rights treaties, the WTO, and investment protection treaties.


1. The Definition of Responsibility in International Law
2. The System of International Responsibility
3. Primary and Secondary Rules
4. The Development of the Law of Responsibility in the Case Law
5. Doctrines of State Responsibility
6. Private Codification Efforts
7. The Hague Conference of 1930
8. The Work of Garcia-Amador on State Responsibility for Injury Caused to Aliens
9. The ILC's Articles on State Responsibility
10. Liability for Injurious Consequences of Acts Not Prohibited by International Law
11. The Law of Responsibility and the Law of Treaties
12. Responsibility and the United Nations Charter
13. Leges speciales and Self-Contained Regimes
14. The Emergence of "Soft" Responsibility
15. Relations between the International Law of Responsibility and Responsibility in Municipal Law
16. Overview of Part One of the Articles on State Responsibility
17. The Elements of an Internationally Wrongful Act
18. The Rules of Attribution: General Considerations
19. Attribution of Conduct to the State
20. Attribution of Conduct to Multiple States and the Implication of a State in the Act of Another State
21. State Succession and Responsibility
22. Attribution of Conduct to International Organizations
23. The Responsibility of Other Entities
24. Actions and Omissions
25. Source of the Obligation
26. Content of the Obligation: Obligations of Means and Obligations of Result
27. Duration of the Breach
28. Relevance of the Inter-temporal Law
29. International Crimes of States
30. The Character of the Violated Obligation
31. The Character of the Breach
32. The Notion of Circumstances Precluding Wrongfulness
33. Circumstances Precluding Wrongfulness in the ILC Articles on State Responsibility
34. The Concept of Liability in the Absence of an Internationally Wrongful Act
35. Allocation of Responsibility for Harmful Consequences of Acts not Prohibited by International Law
36. Obligations of Prevention and the Precautionary Principle
37. Overview of Part Two of the Articles on State Responsibility
38. The Obligation of Cessation
39. Assurances and Guarantees of Non-Repetition
40. The Obligation of Reparation
41. Interaction Between the Forms of Reparation
42. The Different Forms of Reparation
43. Contribution to the Injury
44. Division of Reparation between Responsible Entities
45. Punitive Damages
46. The Obligation of Non-Recognition of an Unlawful Situation
47. The Obligation of Non-Assistance of the Responsible State
48. The Obligation of Cooperation
49. International Criminal Responsibility of the State
50. The "Transparency" of the State
51. Responsibility for Violations of Human Rights Obligations
52. Responsibility and the World Trade Organization
53. Responsibility and International Environmental Law
54. Other Specific Regimes of Responsibility
55. Responsibility in the Context of European Community Law
56. The "Polluter Pays" Principle
57. Reparation in the Event of a Circumstance Precluding Wrongfulness
58. The Law of the Sea
59. Space Law
60. Nuclear Energy
61. Overview of Part Three of the Articles on State Responsibility
62. The Concept of an Injured State
63. Plurality of Injured States
64. States having an Interest in Compliance with the Obligation Breached
65. Succession of States in respect of Rights of an Injured State
66. Invocation of Responsibility by International Organizations
67. Individuals
68. Peoples and Minority Groups
69. Corporations
70. The International Community as a Whole
71. Notice of Claim by an Injured State
72. Waiver, Acquiescence and Extinctive Prescription
73. Diplomatic Protection
74. Functional Protection
75. The Diplomatic Channel
76. Conciliation and Other Forms of Non-Binding Third Party Dispute Settlement
77. Arbitration
78. Resort to International Courts
79. The Definition of Countermeasures
80. Countermeasures in Response to Grave Violations of Obligations owed to the International Community as a Whole
81. Procedural Conditions
82. Proportionality
83. The Time Factor in the Application of Countermeasures
84. Obligations Relating to Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
85. Obligations Relating to the Use of Force and Deriving from Peremptory Norms of International Law
86. Other Non-Derogable Obligations
Draft Articles on State Responsibility (as adopted on first reading), 1996
Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, 2001
Articles on Diplomatic Protection, 2006
Draft Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations (as adopted on first reading), 2009

About the author: 

James Crawford SC, FBA, is Director of the Lauterpacht Centre, University of Cambridge, Whewell Professor of International Law and a Fellow of Jesus College. He was a Member of the United Nations International Law Commission from 1992-2001 and Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility (1997-2001). In addition to scholarly work on statehood, self-determination, collective rights and international responsibility, he has appeared frequently before the International Court of Justice including in the Advisory Opinions on Nuclear Weapons (1996) and the Israeli Wall/Barrier (2004). He has also appeared before other international tribunals, and is actively engaged as an international arbitrator. ; Alain Pellet teaches international law at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and was the Director of the Centre de Droit International (CEDIN) from 1991 to 2001. He has received many international decorations and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1998 for his services to the French state. He is one of the most distinguished French experts on international law and has not only been an advisor to the French Government for many years but has also made a name for himself as the representative of several other states before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He is one of the most active practitioners before the International Court of Justice as a Counsel. In addition, he acts in an advisory capacity to international organisations in issues concerning administration and international legislation. A member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations since 1990, he was their chairman in 1997.; Simon Olleson's practice specializes in public international law, providing advice and advocacy in relation to traditional inter-State disputes, including before the International Court of Justice, investment protection disputes, international human rights law, issues of sovereign immunity, State succession and the law of the sea. Prior to coming to the Bar, Simon was a Research Associate and subsequently Fellow at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law of the University of Cambridge, with which he still retains links. He acted as assistant to Professor James Crawford, Special Rapporteur on State Responsibility, in the summer of 2001 during the International Law Commission's final consideration and adoption of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and accompanying commentaries.

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