The responsibility of international organisations for conduct arising out of armed conflict situations
Host item entries:
South African yearbook of international law, Vol. 34, 2009, p. 101-131
It is a well-settled principle of international law that international organisations are subjects of international law and capable of possessing international rights and duties and of enforcing such rights by bringing international claims for breach of an international obligation against the organisation. At least theoretically, the reverse situation enjoys equal recognition, namely that international organisations may be held responsible for their wrongful acts as a logical consequence of the powers and duties bestowed upon them in terms of their constitutive instruments. In the latter instance there is, amongst others, the rather sensitive issue of the vicarious liability borne by member states of the international organisation and / or by a regional organisation in the case of shared mandates and responsibilities. Recently, the underlying issues involved in such a scenario were well-illustrated by the Behrami and Al-Jedda judgments which feature later in this contribution. In addressing the subject-matter of this article three broadly defined areas come under discussion: the UN Charter practice ; the relevant provision of the International Law Association ; and the emergin jurisprudence of recent, and often controversial, case law.