30 and 31 May 2013

SHARES Seminar: Distribution of Responsibilities in International Law

This SHARES Seminar will consider extra-legal perspectives on how responsibility is to be distributed among multiple wrongdoing actors.

The question of distribution is central to the SHARES Project. Actors may agree on distribution ex ante, e.g. by determining that some states should carry higher burdens in military operations. If such ex ante agreements of distribution have been made, this may influence or even determine responsibility ex post facto. If nothing has been agreed, the question arises how nonetheless responsibilities are to be distributed. Should the responsibility of all actors be based on their individual contribution to such harms? Are there grounds for differentiation, and should individual responsibilities be determined on these bases? Or should all actors be held responsible in an equal amount, or should they, if no differentiation can be made, be held responsible collectively?

Various grounds have been advanced to distribute responsibilities in other disciplines. However, such grounds have only to a limited extent been linked to the international legal discourse. In view of the increasing relevance of questions of distribution of responsibilities and of the paucity of international law on this point, there is much reason for a fundamental inquiry into the bases and justifications for apportionment of responsibilities. Such an inquiry could support an articulation of critique of present international law, and provide a basis for reform.

At the seminar, 13 contributions by leading experts from various disciplines will be discussed. The papers will be published in an edited volume of the book series on Shared Responsibility in International Law.

This seminar is closed. You can find the preliminary programme of the seminar here.

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