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In: International Organizations and Member State Responsibility

This article looks into the role of member States as governors of international organizations and explores the legal constraints imposed thereof for the purposes of the establishment of international responsibility. At its foundation lies the quest for an international legal order that effectively protects the interests of those affected by institutional operations. To set the scene for the discussion, the article begins by noting that, in adhering to international organizations, (member) States retain sovereign powers which assume the crucial function of steering their oversight duties over institutional operations. Embracing a constitutionalist paradigm, the article moves on to show how the principles of representativeness and responsiveness inform member State conduct as creators and participants in institutional undertakings. The procedural implications of these principles in institutional contexts are subsequently explored by resorting to due diligence as a standard to evaluate member State behaviour and thereby implement member State responsibility.

In: International Organizations Law Review

The international legal personality and autonomy of international organizations constitute the main vantage point from which responsibility issues in an institutional context are addressed in legal scholarship. In such an exercise, what is often missed is an explanation of how both concepts impact upon the understanding of the position of member States vis-à-vis the organization, and in particular the legal relevance of State participation in the activities of the latter. This paper discusses the relationship between international organizations and their members through the lens of decision-making processes. Looking beyond the veil of an organization’s decisions, it confronts institutional autonomy with the prominent role assumed by member States in the processes of the formation of institutional will, with a view to asserting the legal significance of the latter for responsibility purposes. To that end, this paper first discusses member States’ participation in international organizations, and possible responsibility as a result of such participation, by reference to wrongful conduct perpetrated by the international organization. Subsequently, it concentrates on member States’ responsibility for their own conduct performed in an institutional setting. Based on the premise that member State voting behaviour may be qualified as an act of the State, the paper goes on to show that State participation could entail legal consequences in its own right, provided that international norms binding upon the State dictate particular courses of action in an institutional context.

In: International Organizations Law Review
International Organizations and Member State Responsibility: Critical Perspectives is the first international public law book entirely devoted to the topic of member state responsibility. Throughout its ten contributions, it takes stock of the legal developments brought about by the International Law Commission’s work on international responsibility, and critically unveils the major remaining conceptual gaps in the field.
The novel approaches offered in the book serve as a repository of the various understandings within academia and legal practice that reflect the evolution of the contemporary law of international (member state) responsibility.

Contributors: Ana Sofia Barros, Cedric Ryngaert, Jan Wouters, Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Catherine Brölmann, Esa Paasivirta, Francesco Messineo, Ige Dekker, Jean d’Aspremont, Niels Blokker, Paolo Palchetti, Ramses Wessel, Tom Dannenbaum

This Volume was previously published as International Organizations Law Review Vol. 12, issue 2 (2015).
In: International Organizations and Member State Responsibility
In: International Organizations and Member State Responsibility
In: International Organizations and Member State Responsibility