STATE-RESPONSIBILITY-ON-CONTEMPORARY-ISSUES-UNDER-INTERNATIONAL-LAW-5-1

STATE RESPONSIBILITY ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

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by Dr. N D Gowda(Author)

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Dr. N D Gowda

B.Sc., LL.M., M.Phil., Ph.D. Vice-Principal

Preliminary Note By looking at the world today, it becomes clear that a large number of states are repeatedly violating their international obligations. Since there is no effective international policies, states at times act as if they are above the law. The basic principle of “State Responsibility” in International Law provides that any state that violates its international obligations must be held accountable for its acts. More concretely, the notion of state responsibility means that states, which do not respect their international duties, are responsible immediately to stop their illegal actions, and make reparations to the injured. This is a fundamental principle, which forms part of international customary law, and is binding upon all states. The rules on “state responsibility” do not specify the content of a state′s obligations under International Law, for example torture is forbidden, or that a state must provide medical services to the civilian population. These obligations are specified in numerous International Law treaties and in international customary law. The laws of state responsibility are the principles governing when and how a state is held responsible for a breach of an international obligation. Rather than set forth any particular obligations, the rules of state responsibility determine, in general, when an obligation has been breached and the legal consequence of that violation. In this way, they are “secondary” rules that address basic issues of responsibility and remedies available for breach of “primary” or substantive rules of International Law, such as with respect to the use of armed force. Because of this generality, the rules can be studied independently of the primary rules of obligation. They establish (i) the conditions for an act to qualify as internationally wrongful, (ii) the circumstance under which actions of officials, private individuals and other entities may be attributed to the state, (iii) general defenses to liability and (iv) the consequences of liability. Until, the theory of the law of state responsibility was not well developed. The position has now changed with the adoption of the Draft Articles on the Responsibility of States for International Wrongful Acts by the International Law Commission (ILC) in August 2001.The Draft Articles are of a combination of codification and progressive development. They have already been cited by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and have been well received.