The Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations: Magnifying the Fissures in the Law of International Responsibility

In: International Organizations Law Review
Jean d’AspremontProfessor of Public International Law, University of Manchester; Senior Research Fellow of the Amsterdam Center of International Law, Email:

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It is against the backdrop of the conceptual impairment inherited from the Articles on State Responsibility (hereafter ASR) that this note, rather than zeroing in on what could have been better devised at the micro-level of the Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations (hereafter ARIO), adopts a holistic view on the approaches to the law of international responsibility. In so doing, the ARIO are not approached in isolation but together with the ASR. This paper argues that, envisaged together with the ASR, the ARIO magnify the structural straits of the law of international responsibility. It more particularly argues that the ARIO reveal that the minor and almost invisible defects at the level of the ASR have enlarged on the occasion of their transposition to the responsibility of international organizations, unveiling the conceptual fissures of the whole law of international responsibility (Section 1). It then formulates a few epistemological considerations on how a normative instrument that so openly lays bare the limits of the current law of international responsibility could nonetheless be usefully received by our professional community (Section 2).

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