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Abuse of the Members: Questions concerning Draft Article 16 of the Draft Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations

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This contribution discusses Article 16 (“Decisions, authorizations and recommendations addressed to member states and international organizations”) of the ILC draft articles on responsibility of international organizations, completed in first reading in 2009. According to Article 16, international organizations may incur international responsibility for their binding and non-binding decisions if certain conditions are fulfilled. The main rationale of this provision is that an international organization may not require its members to perform acts which the organization itself may not perform under its own obligations. The need to include this provision in the draft articles is not questioned. Five specific issues are addressed. The provision concerning authorizations may in the future turn out to be the most troublesome, in particular in relation to Security Council authorizations for the use of force.

Affiliations: 1: International Institutional Law (Schermers Chair), Leiden University, and deputy head of the international law division at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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