Issues of Shared Responsibility before the International Court of Justice
SHARES Research Paper 01 (2011), ACIL 2011-01
Published in: E. Rieter and H. de Waele (eds.), Evolving Principles of International Law, Studies in Honour of Karel C. Wellens (Leiden-Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2011), pp. 199-238.
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 policies, or acts that contribute to global environmental problems. The principles applicable to cases of shared responsibility are not well developed. In order to lay a foundation for further study on the topic, this paper systematizes the case law of the International Court of Justice pertaining to shared responsibility. It assesses how the ICJ has treated certain core aspects pertaining to shared responsibility in such cases as Corfu Channel, Certain Phosphate Lands in Nauru, East Timor and the Legality of the Use of Force, and identifies the questions that require further theoretical work.