State Responsibility

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: Framing Complicity

In my first post in the series I explained how intelligence sharing can be contrary to international law either because it transgresses a rule that directly prohibits the sharing of intelligence as such, or because of complicity in a partner’s wrongful act. Let us now start examining the problems of complicity in more detail. Two Scenarios of Complicity and Intelligence Sharing There are two basic intelligence sharing scenarios that may trigger a state’s responsibility for complicity: first, intelligence sharing assisting an internationally wrongful act; second, the receiving of intelligence that was obtained and/or shared unlawfully. In the first scenario, during a military operation state A is sharing intelligence with partner state or non-state actor B, which then facilitates B’s commission of an internationally wrongful act. That wrongful act can be a serious violation of international humanitarian law (IHL) or IHRL, such as torture, or a less serious violation of either regime. Or it can violate some other rule of international law, such as the sovereignty of a third state,…

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: A Primer

The massive airlift by the United States and its allies that followed the Taliban’s victory in the Afghan war had a remarkable feature: the Taliban not only did not interfere with it, but actively assisted it. After two decades of fighting the Taliban, the United States found in them unlikely partners willing to provide, for a limited time,…

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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…

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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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