Power and Responsibility

A. Di Stefano, Un Diritto Senza Terra? Funzioni e limiti del principio di territorialità nel diritto internazionale e dell’Unione europea / A Lackland Law? Territory, Effectiveness and Jurisdiction in International and European Law, Giappichelli, Torino 2014 (Forthcoming)

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-35

Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2014-22

25 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014

See all articles by Andre Nollkaemper

Andre Nollkaemper

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: June 12, 2014

Abstract

This paper critically reviews the popular proposition that 'power breeds responsibility'. It first explains why this proposition is intuitively appealing. Particularly in situations where multiple actors contribute to harm, power can be a criterion for determining who of a multitude of actors should bear responsibility. For instance, much of the case law on extra territorial human rights protection is based on a concept of power. The paper then explains why this intuition can be misleading. Saying that power informs responsibility is begging the question what type of power triggers what type of responsibility in what way. The paper focuses in particular on the ambiguity of the concept of power (different meanings of power have different implications for responsibility) and on the duality of the power-responsibility relationship (power itself may be constituted or influenced by responsibility). While generally speaking power indeed is highly relevant in explaining the allocation of responsibility between multiple parties, power is best considered as a compound concept that can take different forms, and which may pull in different directions, depending on the perspective from which power is analysed and the context in which it is applied.

Keywords: International law, International responsibility, Power, Jurisdiction, Attribution, Due diligence

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Nollkaemper, Andre, Power and Responsibility (June 12, 2014). A. Di Stefano, Un Diritto Senza Terra? Funzioni e limiti del principio di territorialità nel diritto internazionale e dell’Unione europea / A Lackland Law? Territory, Effectiveness and Jurisdiction in International and European Law, Giappichelli, Torino 2014 (Forthcoming), Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2014-35, Amsterdam Center for International Law No. 2014-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2449250

Andre Nollkaemper (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000 BA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/p.a.nollkaemper/

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