Encoding the law of State responsibility with courage and resolve: James Crawford and the 2001 Articles on State Responsibility

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


The breadth of James Crawford’s work as an academic and practitioner of international law is astonishing: from boundary delimitation to foundational sources questions to the complexities of annulment in investment arbitration, little seemed beyond his grasp or interest. From the 1990s onwards, State responsibility became a focus of his work, guiding the International Law Commission (ILC) through a swift second reading of the Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (Articles). The eventual text, adopted in 2001 and annexed to United Nations General Assembly resolution 56/83, while reflecting a collective ILC effort, bears his imprint. This contribution takes three observations by Crawford as prompts for a discussion of both his role in their crafting and of the Articles’ place in contemporary international law. First, the Articles have ‘encoded the way we think about [State] responsibility’. Second, this encoding exercise marked ‘a step in the direction of profitable generalization’. Finally, the fact that this exercise resulted in a formally non-binding text has permitted ‘the Articles as part of the fabric of general international law to be consolidated and refined’ in the day-to-day interpretation and application of international law. The article concludes with brief remarks on their future status.

ZeitschriftCambridge International Law Journal
Seiten (von - bis)6-23
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.06.2022
Extern publiziertJa

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