7 and 8 February 2013

SHARES Seminar: Principles of Shared Responsibility in International Law

This seminar will critically review the principles of international responsibility, as these have been formulated by the International Law Commission (ILC), from the perspective of shared responsibility. The seminar responds to situations where the existence, and consequences, of shared responsibility were unclear. Examples are the Al-Jedda case before the European Court for Human Rights, the Srebrenica cases in Dutch courts, and the allocation between responsibility of the EU and of member states in relation to refugees and environmental protection.

The International Law Commission recognized in its work on the responsibility of states and the responsibility of international organizations that attribution of acts to one state or organization does not exclude the possible attribution of the same act to another state or organization. There is no doubt that under positive international law situations of shared responsibility may arise.

However, the ILC has provided little guidance regarding the allocation of responsibility or reparation in such cases. In such diverse areas as peacekeeping, counter-terrorism policy, refugee law and international environmental law, considerable uncertainty exists on the applicable principles of responsibility in situations when two or more actors contribute to a wrong.

The SHARES Project will organize a seminar that will critically discuss the main principles of responsibility, in order to enhance our understanding of what the principles of responsibility can offer in situations of shared responsibility, and where gaps can be found. The papers that will be discussed at the seminar will review whether the established principles of responsibility, as laid down in the ILC Articles, are sufficiently attuned to situations of shared responsibility.

The papers will eventually be published in the first volume of what will become a book series on Shared Responsibility in International Law.

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

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