New State Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts by an Insurrectional Movement
European Journal of International Law, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 605-621, 2006
18 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 29, 2008
There exists a well-established principle of international law according to which a State should not be held responsible for internationally wrongful acts committed by an unsuccessful insurrectional movement against other States in its struggle for independence. The question addressed in this paper arises whenever an insurrectional movement succeeds in establishing a new State, and not merely in becoming a new government of an already existing State. This paper is aimed at examining in detail the scope and content of the principle that a new State is responsible for internationally wrongful acts committed by an insurrectional movement during its armed struggle for independence.
The principle is clearly stated at Article 10(2) of the final 2001 Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, adopted by the International Law Commission (ILC). This paper examines the different theoretical foundations that have been submitted in doctrine to explain why a new State should be responsible for acts committed by the rebels before its independence. The (limited) State practice supporting the principle of devolution of responsibility will also be analysed. For instance, we examine French Municipal Court Decisions in the Context of the Independence of Algeria and the Socony Vaccum Oil Company Case before the U.S. International Claims Commission in the context of the creation of the Nazi puppet 'independent' State of Croatia during the Second World War. Finally, this paper will examine the concrete application of this principle for different types of succession of States. For the author, even if the principle is based on limited precedent, it nevertheless should find application in the context of all cases of succession of States (including Newly Independent States and cession and transfer of territory).
Keywords: State succession, new State, insurrectional movement, rebels, international responsibility, State practice, Algeria
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