State Responsibility

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A Shared Responsibility Trap: Supplying Weapons to the Syrian Opposition

Syrian Opposition Flag (Wikipedia) Cross-posted at the SHARES Blog In the last few weeks, a shared responsibility trap has arisen in relation to the conflict in Syria. On 4 June 2013, the Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic documented that anti-government forces have engaged in a wide range of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. At the same time, several States are inching towards openly supplying the Syrian opposition with arms. On 27 May, the Council of Ministers of the European Union decided not to renew the arms embargo against Syria. On 14 June, the United States announced that it plans to provide weapons in response to its finding that Syria has used chemical weapons.  States that are now considering supplying weapons to the opposition forces in Syria run a risk of falling into a shared responsibility trap. They may have noble motives in seeking to save the population from atrocities. They may even…

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Sharing Responsibility for UN Targeted Sanctions

Cross-posted from the SHARES Blog UN targeted sanctions, especially those related to terrorism, have had their fair share of the limelight lately, particularly in view of important decisions by the ECJ, the ECtHR, the UK Supreme Court and others in cases such as Kadi, Nada, and Ahmed. Here, I try to look at this jurisprudence through the lens of the…

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Iceland not responsible for the liabilities of its deposit insurance scheme

In a landmark decision, the EFTA Court on 28 January 2013 dismissed all claims brought by the EFTA Surveillance Authority against Iceland in the Icesave case. The Authority had alleged that Iceland had breached its obligations under Directive 94/14/EC on deposit guarantee by failing to compensate Icesave depositors and had violated the prohibition on non-discrimination in the Directive and…

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The ECtHR Finds Macedonia Responsible in Connection with Torture by the CIA, but on What Basis?

André Nollkaemper is Professor of Public International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. He directs the project on 'Shared Responsibility in International Law' (SHARES); this piece is cross-posted on the SHARES Blog. On 13 December 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) found the that the…

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Palestine as a UN Observer State: Does this Make Palestine a State?

Last week, the UN General Assembly voted by 138 to 9 (with 41 abstaining) “to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations”. Thus, Palestine which has been an observer at the UN since 1974 has had its status within the UN upgraded to being an observer State. There has been much euphoria on…

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