Shared Responsibility in International Law: A Conceptual Framework

André Nollkaemper and Dov Jacobs

This paper explores the phenomenon of the sharing of international responsibilities among multiple actors who contribute to injury to third parties. It examines the manifestations of shared responsibility, identifies the normative questions that it raises, assesses its possible consequences for … Read more


Causation and International State Responsibility

León Castellanos-Jankiewicz

This work studies causation in the law of international State responsibility. It is submitted that the absence of causation as an element of the internationally wrongful act owes more to the structure of international law, than to the inadequateness of … Read more


Issues of Shared Responsibility before the International Court of Justice

André Nollkaemper

An increasing number of situations where international responsibility of states is engaged, involve wrongful acts committed by two or more states. Examples of such situations of shared responsibility can be found in the context of multinational military operations, extra-territorial migration … Read more


Abuse of the Legal Personality of International Organizations and the Responsibility of Member States

Jean d'Aspremont

This Article makes the argument that when member states abuse the international legal personality of an international organization through the exercise of an excessive control over the decision-making process of the organization, they must be held, together with the organization, … Read more


15 May 2011

Call for Papers for Conference on Shared Responsibility – Deadline 15 May

The Conference on Foundations of Shared Responsibility in International Law, the first major conference organized by the SHARES project, will explore fundamental and conceptual issues that explain the state of law, allow for identification of gaps and provide insights on possibilities and limitations for further development of the law pertaining to shared responsibility.

These questions are of theoretical and practical relevance in themselves, and will inform future developments of the SHARES project as a whole. The Conference also will be a first take on the findings of the SHARES project so far, and will allow for a confrontation with other competing and/or complementary approaches.

We invite the submission of proposals for the Conference. The deadline for submission is 15 May. Proposals should be sent to Isabelle Swerissen. Any inquiry about the Conference can be directed to Dov Jacobs.

Find the full call for papers here.


27 September 2012

UNGA Declaration on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

On 24 September 2012, the High-level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels, taking place at the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), adopted the Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the 67th Session of the General Assembly on the rule of law at the national and international levels. The Document reaffirms the ‘commitment to the rule of law and its fundamental importance for political dialogue and cooperation among all States’.

Paragraph 24 of the Declaration emphasizes the ‘importance of strengthened international cooperation, based on the principles of shared responsibility, and in accordance with international law, in order to dismantle illicit networks and counter the world drug problem and transnational organized crime, including money laundering, trafficking in persons, trafficking in arms and other forms of organized crime, all of which threaten national security and undermine sustainable development and the rule of law.’

Source: UNGA | Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels

18 January 2012

New book on Corfu Channel case highlights issues of shared responsibility

The recently published book The ICJ and the Evolution of International Law. The enduring impact of the Corfu Channel Case (Karine Bannelier, Theodore Christakis and Sarah Heathcote, eds), Routeledge, 2012, contains several contributions relevant to shared responsibility. Sarah Heathcote examines state omissions and due diligence, Olivier Corten  and Pierre Klein discuss the limits of complicity as a ground for complicity; and Pierre d’Argent discusses reparation, including questions of multiple causes.


27 October 2011

President of ICJ Addresses UN

Judge Hisashi Owada, President of the International Court of Justice, gave his annual report on the activities of the Court to the UN General Assembly on 26 October 2011. He stated that it is vital that international law underpin developments on the global stage, especially in an ever increasingly globalized and interconnected world.

“It is no exaggeration to say that all regions of the world have become closely intertwined … In this 21st century, international politics are undeniably interconnected; a truly global economy has emerged; and our natural environment and global climate change have created new challenges. In these times of unprecedented interconnection between States and peoples, it is my sincere belief that a firm reliance on international law must underpin any and all future developments on the global stage.”


26 September 2011

New Book on Complicity and the Law of State Responsibility

A new book on ‘Complicity and the Law of State Responsibility’, written by Helmut Philipp Aust, has recently been published by Cambridge University Press.

In an honest, critical and thoroughly researched manner Aust covers several SHARES issues through the lens of a principle of complicity. His definition of complicity is thereby inspired by Article 16 of the ILC Articles on State responsibility (ILC ASR). This Article (on ‘aid and assistance’) and Article 41 ASR (on non-assistance, non-recognition and cooperation in the face of serious violations of peremptory norms of international law) consequently form the main focus of the book. The study in detail addresses the content of these Articles and their relation to an international legal system that in Aust’s view increasingly involves an international rule of law and community interests. In doing so, it touches upon several adjacent SHARES issues such as the ‘Monetary Gold principle’ and bilateralism in international law. More information about the book can be found here.


2 August 2011

Publication of the SHARES Project Concept Paper

‘Shared Responsibility in International Law: A Concept Paper’, a Research Paper by André Nollkaemper and Dov Jacobs laying out the foundations, scope and ambitions of the SHARES Project, has just been published here on the website. (more…)

25 July 2011

New Book on Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing

A new book on ‘Accountability for Collective Wrongdoing’, edited by Tracy Isaacs and Richard Vernon, has recently been published. More information about the book can be found here.


8 April 2011

SHARES Working Paper on Shared Responsiblity in the case law of the ICJ

The first paper of the SHARES Working Paper Series has been published and can be found here. It is a piece by André Nollkaemper on the case law of the International Court of Justice pertaining to shared responsibility.