Ö/Øresund International Law Workshop: "Challenges in the Law of Responsibility"

Responsibility is a foundational principle of public international law recognizing a fundamental aspect of any legal system: that consequences flow from breaches of legal obligations. Public international law has traditionally been focused on the issue of State responsibility, covering the typical example of where a State commits an unlawful act against another. This has given way to a broader understanding of international responsibility, recognising that the State is but one part of an international order that includes other subjects capable of breaching legal obligations. In recent years there has been greater attention paid to the challenges of attaching responsibility to actors in the context of new circumstances and developments. The increased influence of international organizations, for example, led the International Law Commission to develop articles of responsibility for international organizations, based largely on those developed in respect of state responsibility. Contemporary legal debates about inter alia new technologies, new means and methods of warfare, the role of various non-state actors such as multinational corporations, terrorist or armed groups often focus on the question of responsibility. How has the law of responsibility been applied to these new actors and developments, and what are the key challenges?

The workshop on responsibility has two main goals. First, it will allow discussion of the issue of ‘responsibility’ from researchers working in various fields of international law and allows feedback, discussion and debate from other international law researchers. How is the issue of responsibility discussed in contemporary debates in the law or armed conflict, international investment law, international human rights law, and so on? The second goal relates to the broader theme of the Øresund International Law Network, that is, to understand how researchers working on different sub-fields of international law deal with international law issues in the context of fragmentation and ‘managerialism’ of the discipline. By taking a foundational issue of international law – responsibility – and discussing it from various angles and viewpoints, the workshop also intends to further understand how different sub-fields of international law may approach the issue in different ways. Do they approach responsibility in the same manner, or are there diverging methodologies, assumptions and starting points across these different fields?

The workshop will be held on 11 June 2018 at Sessionsrummet, Faculty of Law, Lund University.

All interested are welcome to attend.


They can register by writing to Eduardo.Gill-Pedro@jur.lu.se before 6 June.