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The Relationship Between Third-Party Countermeasures and the Security Council’s Chapter VII Powers: Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law

Bills, Amanda LU (2019) JURM02 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
This thesis has examined the relationship between third-party countermeasures under the law of state responsibility and UN Security Council enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Third-party countermeasures are a concept that refers to the use of countermeasures by a state other than the injured state in response to breaches of obligations erga omnes or erga omnes partes, providing states with ‘a necessary middle ground between war and words’ to enforce the obligations of concern to the international community as a whole. However, the right to take third-party countermeasures is a deeply divisive topic in the law of state responsibility. A significant source of this controversy relates to the uncertain relationship... (More)
This thesis has examined the relationship between third-party countermeasures under the law of state responsibility and UN Security Council enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Third-party countermeasures are a concept that refers to the use of countermeasures by a state other than the injured state in response to breaches of obligations erga omnes or erga omnes partes, providing states with ‘a necessary middle ground between war and words’ to enforce the obligations of concern to the international community as a whole. However, the right to take third-party countermeasures is a deeply divisive topic in the law of state responsibility. A significant source of this controversy relates to the uncertain relationship between third-party countermeasures and the Security Council’s enforcement powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. It has been suggested that recognising a regime of third-party countermeasures ‘would install a “do-it-yourself” sanctions system that would threaten the [collective] security system based on Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations’, undermining the institutional balance established thereunder. As state practice indicates with increasing clarity that the right to third-party countermeasures is emerging under customary international law, it is necessary to consider in further detail the legal position of such measures in relation to the Security Council’s mandate for the
maintenance of international peace and security. It is submitted that the right of individual states to take third-party countermeasures is not precluded or subject to other limitations when taken in response to situations where the Security Council is either actively seized with a matter or taking enforcement action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In fact, in a number of instances, third-party countermeasures have been taken concurrently with Security Council enforcement measures without coming into conflict with or undermining the effective application of the latter. As such, the risks relating to the use of third-party countermeasures in relation to the Security Council do not appear to have materialised in practice. The uncertain relationship between third-party countermeasures and Security Council enforcement measures therefore appears to be mostly a theoretical or ideological problem without significant risks in practice. (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Denna uppsats har undersökt förhållandet mellan tredjestatskontraåtgärder (på engelska third-party countermeasures) enligt statsansvarsreglerna och FN:s säkerhetsråds mandat att vidta åtgärder mot enskilda stater enligt kapitel VII i FN-stadgan. Tredjestatskontraåtgärder innebär att en stat utan att vara skadad av folkrättsbrottet ifråga vidtar kontraåtgärder mot en annan stat som brutit mot förpliktelser erga omnes eller erga omnes partes. Detta har ansetts utgöra en ’nödvändig medelväg mellan väpnad konflikt och ord’ för att upprätthålla vissa gemensamma intressen inom det internationella samfundet. Rätten att vidta tredjestatskontraåtgärder är en djupt kontroversiell och polariserande fråga inom statsansvarsrätten, främst på grund av... (More)
Denna uppsats har undersökt förhållandet mellan tredjestatskontraåtgärder (på engelska third-party countermeasures) enligt statsansvarsreglerna och FN:s säkerhetsråds mandat att vidta åtgärder mot enskilda stater enligt kapitel VII i FN-stadgan. Tredjestatskontraåtgärder innebär att en stat utan att vara skadad av folkrättsbrottet ifråga vidtar kontraåtgärder mot en annan stat som brutit mot förpliktelser erga omnes eller erga omnes partes. Detta har ansetts utgöra en ’nödvändig medelväg mellan väpnad konflikt och ord’ för att upprätthålla vissa gemensamma intressen inom det internationella samfundet. Rätten att vidta tredjestatskontraåtgärder är en djupt kontroversiell och polariserande fråga inom statsansvarsrätten, främst på grund av det osäkra förhållandet mellan tredjestatskontraåtgärder och säkerhetsrådets möjlighet att vidta åtgärder enligt kapitel VII i FN-stadgan. Tredjestatskontraåtgärder har beskrivits som ett allvarligt hot mot det folkrättsliga systemet för kollektiv säkerhet, med påtaglig risk att underminera den institutionella balansen som etablerats i FN-systemet. I takt
med att statspraxis av tredjestatskontraåtgärder allt tydligare ger uttryck för en
sedvanerättslig rätt till tredjestatskontraåtgärder blir det nödvändigt att närmare
överväga hur sådana åtgärder förhåller sig till säkerhetsrådets mandat för
upprätthållandet av internationell fred och säkerhet. Slutsatsen av denna är att
individuella staters rätt att vidta tredjestatskontraåtgärder inte utesluts eller på annat sätt begränsas när tredjestatskontraåtgärder vidtas i situationer där säkerhetsrådet antingen är engagerat eller har vidtagit åtgärder enligt kapitel VII i FN-stadgan. I själva verket finns det i statspraxis flera exempel på situationer där enskilda stater har vidtagit tredjestatskontraåtgärder samtidigt som säkerhetsrådets har agerat, utan att detta har gett upphov till konflikt eller underminerat säkerhetsrådets mandat. De risker som tidigare påpekats verkar därmed inte ha förverkligats. Det osäkra förhållandet mellan tredjestatskontraåtgärder och säkerhetsrådets mandat för internationell fred och säkerhet under kapitel VII i FN-stadgan framstår snarast som ett teoretiskt och eventuellt ideologiskt grundat problem utan större risker i praktiken. (Less)
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author
Bills, Amanda LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20191
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
public international law, state responsibility law, countermeasures, third-party countermeasures, obligations erga omnes, Security Council, Chapter VII
language
English
id
8977273
date added to LUP
2019-06-17 14:38:58
date last changed
2019-06-17 14:38:58
@misc{8977273,
  abstract     = {This thesis has examined the relationship between third-party countermeasures under the law of state responsibility and UN Security Council enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Third-party countermeasures are a concept that refers to the use of countermeasures by a state other than the injured state in response to breaches of obligations erga omnes or erga omnes partes, providing states with ‘a necessary middle ground between war and words’ to enforce the obligations of concern to the international community as a whole. However, the right to take third-party countermeasures is a deeply divisive topic in the law of state responsibility. A significant source of this controversy relates to the uncertain relationship between third-party countermeasures and the Security Council’s enforcement powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. It has been suggested that recognising a regime of third-party countermeasures ‘would install a “do-it-yourself” sanctions system that would threaten the [collective] security system based on Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations’, undermining the institutional balance established thereunder. As state practice indicates with increasing clarity that the right to third-party countermeasures is emerging under customary international law, it is necessary to consider in further detail the legal position of such measures in relation to the Security Council’s mandate for the
maintenance of international peace and security. It is submitted that the right of individual states to take third-party countermeasures is not precluded or subject to other limitations when taken in response to situations where the Security Council is either actively seized with a matter or taking enforcement action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In fact, in a number of instances, third-party countermeasures have been taken concurrently with Security Council enforcement measures without coming into conflict with or undermining the effective application of the latter. As such, the risks relating to the use of third-party countermeasures in relation to the Security Council do not appear to have materialised in practice. The uncertain relationship between third-party countermeasures and Security Council enforcement measures therefore appears to be mostly a theoretical or ideological problem without significant risks in practice.},
  author       = {Bills, Amanda},
  keyword      = {public international law,state responsibility law,countermeasures,third-party countermeasures,obligations erga omnes,Security Council,Chapter VII},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Relationship Between Third-Party Countermeasures and the Security Council’s Chapter VII Powers: Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law},
  year         = {2019},
}