Call for Papers: The Responsibility of International Organizations – Past, Present and Future

Deadline: 

04/30/21

Event Date: 

01/1/22

Location name: 

University of Leicester (2022, specific date TBD)

Organization: 

Centre for European Law and Internationalisation (University of Leicester) and the Society of Legal Scholars

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

 

 

We invite proposals for papers to be published in an edited collection on The Responsibility of International Organizations – Past, Present and Future.

This year the international community celebrates the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations (ARIO). ARIO address the issue of responsibility of international organizations for violations of international law (‘wrongful acts’). Currently, ARIO are the only accepted normative framework for dealing with issues of accountability of international organizations. Other than that, the consequences of wrongful acts of international organizations are exclusively regulated by their internal law.

The choice of the topic is timely and appropriate. For example, in the background of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) stands accused of inefficiency and possible cover up in the handling of the pandemic. This has prompted accusations that the WHO has not lived up to its promise; it has failed to serve the purpose for which it was created. An independent inquiry will assess the WHO’s handling of the response to the pandemic: did the WHO exercise the functions for which it has been created efficiently and in a transparent way? Can the WHO still be trusted? It is unlikely that the WHO has acted ultra vires, that is to say, beyond the scope of its mandate. Yet any form of accountability for the way in which it has implemented its mandate remains outside the scope of ARIO (and, indeed, international law).

Other recent examples likewise outline the actuality of the problem. For instance, the European Union (EU) arguably committed wrongful acts in the fight against the coronavirus, especially failures of its obligations in the procurement and distribution of vaccines among member States. International organisations working on migration such as Frontex of the EU or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees were accused of complicity or the failure to comply with their own obligations to protect the rights of migrants. Domestic courts (e.g. The Netherlands) had to pronounce on the responsibility of certain international organizations for failing to protect human rights in peacekeeping operations, while quasi-judicial bodies ruled on the responsibility of the peacekeeping mission (Human Rights Advisory Panel or the Human Rights Review Panel in Kosovo) or of a State in connection with the conduct of an international organization (African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights). These cases raise theoretical questions about the law governing international organizations in general and the law of responsibility of international organizations in particular. The proposed edited collection thus presents a unique opportunity for rethinking the broader prospects and challenges of the law of responsibility of international organizations, including needs for reform.

We welcome abstract submissions that engage with innovative approaches to the study of the responsibility of international organizations – either in the form of theoretical analysis or case studies. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

×      Conceptualising the scope, application and effectiveness of ARIO in theory and practice: past, present and future trends.

×      Responsibility versus accountability of international organizations

×      A critique of the constitutional model of responsibility of international organizations

×      A critique of the ‘virtue ethics’ model of responsibility of international organizations

×     Responsibility of international organizations: selected case studies, comparative perspectives and implications for the development of the law of international organizations

×     Western and non-Western approaches to the theory of responsibility of international organizations

×      The responsibility of regional international organizations, regional approaches and the question of lex specialis

×      Dual or multiple responsibility: questions of shared responsibility of international organizations and States, responsibility of a State in connection with the conduct of an international organization

×      Implementation of the responsibility of international organizations

Abstracts of proposed papers of no more than 500 words should be sent via email to the organising committee (Dr Rossana Deplano, rossana.deplano@le.ac.uk and Dr Antal Berkes, antal.berkes@brunel.ac.uk) by 30 April 2021. Abstracts must include the institutional affiliation of the author. Papers will be selected by 10 May 2021. Selected authors will be invited, depending on the pandemic situation, to a conference to be hosted at the University of Leicester in 2022 and supported by the Centre for European Law and Internationalisation (University of Leicester) and the Society of Legal Scholars.

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