Attribution of Conduct in International Military Operations: A Causal Analysis of Effective Control
Forthcoming: Melbourne Journal of International Law
31 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2017 Last revised: 7 Mar 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
While effective control as formulated in Article 7 of the ILC Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations has become recognised as the key criteria to attribute conduct in international military operations carried out under the lead of an international organization, its precise contours remain elusive when applied to concrete scenarios. This article argues that attribution of conduct under the test of effective control can be analysed in causal terms, and that such analysis is useful to attribute the conduct of military organs over which control is shared between contributing States and international organizations. In this interpretation, effective control is understood as a causally proximate form of control over a given conduct. Applied to the military context, the analysis allows to clarify how different forms of military control are relevant to different types of harmful conduct, and how they translate in terms of legal control for the purpose of attribution. The article submits that, beyond operational control, control exercised at the organic or strategic levels can also be linked to certain types of harmful conduct, and thereby provides conceptual grounds for attribution of conduct in complex military scenarios.
Keywords: international law, international responsibility, state responsibility, attribution of conduct, effective control, causation, military operations
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation