State Responsibility

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Inviting a Wolf to the Table: The 2020 US-Taliban Agreement and Questions of State Responsibility

On Sunday 15 August 2021, towards the final phase of the US and other NATO States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace, confirmed its control over the country, and announced the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The act was the culmination of a well-organized takeover by the Taliban of 26 out of 34 provincial capitals within ten days. In addition to the over 1000 civilians killed in the span of a month, enforced disappearances, and houses torched as the Taliban asserted its control in new areas, an estimated 244,000 people were forced to flee their homes since foreign forces began their withdrawal in May 2021. While the Taliban expressed its aim to form an “open, inclusive Islamic government”, the memory of the fundamentalist and violent Taliban rule in the period 1996-2001 raised alarm among the population of what the content of such “open, inclusive Islamic government” may look like. Rather than being a mere consequence of US withdrawal, the Taliban’s takeover can be traced back to a…

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Dithering, Trickling Down, and Encoding: Concluding Thoughts on the ‘ILC Articles at 20’ Symposium

Twenty years ago, to this day, the ILC’s efforts at clarifying the rules of State responsibility came to an end. On 9 August 2001, the ILC finalised its work, begun just under four decades earlier, of spelling out  ‘the general conditions under international law for the State to be considered responsible for wrongful actions or omissions, and…

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State Responsibility and the Global Environmental Crisis

This post explores some aspects of the ILC’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (‘ARSIWA’) as they concern the global environmental crisis. The understanding of environmental degradation has changed over time from a bilateral/horizonal issue to a community one. Even within the latter frame, the enormity of the challenge is now much better understood.

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The Application of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts in the WTO Regime

In this short post, I consider the unique application of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA) to the special regime of the World Trade Organization, an organization that has had a variable relationship with international law over the years. Consistent with Article 55 of ARSIWA which privileges “special…

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The Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts and the making of international investment law

In modern international law, the relationship between state responsibility and the protection of foreigners and their property is one of cross-fertilization and even common origin. When in 1924 the League of Nations commenced its efforts to codify international law, state responsibility was included as one of the subjects for potential international regulation. It was referred to as the…

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