The Right to Development and State Responsibility
SHARES Research Paper 23 (2013), ACIL 2013-06
Published as 'The Right to Development: Can States be Held Responsible?', in D. Foeken et al. (eds.), Development and Equity (Brill, 2014), pp. 191-216.
The right to development is still largely viewed as aspirational and not as a ‘proper’ legal right. This chapter explores if and how a rights-based approach to development could ever be carried to its logical conclusion; by holding states accountable for violations of the right to development. In doing so, a distinction is made between the internal and external dimension of the right. The chapter demonstrates that finding state responsibility for breaches of the external dimension, which contains obligations of a state towards people outside of its jurisdiction and obligations to cooperate with other states, would require a great deal of adjustments to the present framework of applicable international rules. Finally, it explores what role the concepts of intergenerational equity and common but differentiated responsibility could play in supporting such adjustments.