New Directions in Responsibility: Assessing the International Law Commission's Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations
10 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 22, 2011
The International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations are a critical new development in the law regulating international organizations. These Articles create a legal framework - although not a forum - to sue IOs that commit internationally wrongful acts. The Draft Articles create a law of “consequences”: they lay out rules of attribution, excuses precluding wrongfulness, effects of a breach, and principles of reparations. In this essay, I explore the consequences of extending legal responsibility to IOs. I distinguish between the concepts of accountability and responsibility, highlight some salient aspects of the structure and substance of the Draft Articles, and finally suggest that the law of responsibility and Chapter VII Security Council Resolutions have a long and complicated future ahead of them. I also comment on how the privileges and immunities of IOs will affect the application of the law of responsibility and conclude that the Draft Articles’ main forum of application will be within the IOs themselves.
Keywords: law of responsibility, accountability, international organizations, internationally wrongful acts
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