24 April 2013
On 11 April, Judge Gaja gave a SHARES lecture entitled “The relations between the European Union and its member states from the perspective of the ILC Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations.” In his remarks, Judge Gaja discussed various aspects of the European Union’s relationship to the Articles, including its plea for special status, the implications of the EU’s forthcoming accession to the European Court of Human Rights, and the application of Articles 14 – 17 to international organizations generally.
Of particular note were his remarks on shared responsibility and the EU. Under the Articles, the EU responsibility might arise if it breaches an international obligation by act or omission. Judge Gaja used the Chile v. European Communities case based on dispute between Chile and Spanish fishermen fishing swordfish outside of the EEZ of Chile as an example of a situation where the EU might have been found responsible for failing to achieve a certain result, in this case the preservation of swordfish. Although the case settled, the EU has exclusive competence for the conservation of maritime resources and consequently there is little question it would have been responsible for any breach (see Hoffmeister’s article here). (more…)