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On 1 November, André Nollkaemper and Natasa Nedeski presented the Guiding Principles on Shared Responsibility in International Law at an event at the General Assembly of the United Nations, together with Berenice Boutin (TMC Asser Institute) and Jean d’Aspremont (Sciences Po Paris and University of Manchester). The principles are based on the ERC funded research project on shared responsibility that was conducted at the Amsterdam Law School.

From 2010 to 2016, André Nollkaemper directed the project Shared Responsibility in International Law, funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. To allow for dissemination of the academic results of the project, members of the research group (André Nollkaemper, Jean d’Aspremont, Christiane Ahlborn, Natasa Nedeski, Berenice Boutin and Ilias Plakokefalos) drafted, over a 3 year period, a set of 15 principles that comprise the main findings of the project.

The Guiding Principles on Shared Responsibility in International Law provide guidance to judges, practitioners and researchers when confronted with legal questions of shared responsibility of states and/or international organizations, for instance in relation to climate change, joint military operations or migration management. The existing rules of international responsibility have left space for interpretation when it comes to determining who can be held responsible for what if multiple states and/or international organizations contribute to injury.

In substance, the Guiding Principles aim to strengthen the position of persons (including states, international organizations and individuals) who are injured as a result of joint actions by multiple states and/or international organizations, and that may face difficulties in proving how much damage was done by each of them.

The Permanent Mission of Brazil at the UN took the initiative for a presentation of the Guiding Principles during the 74th session of the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Andre Nollkaemper, Natasa Nedeski, Jean d’Aspremont and Berenice Boutin presented and discussed the principles for an audience of legal advisors, diplomats and members of the UN International Law Commission. 

The final version of the Guiding Principles, with an extended commentary, will be published in the European Journal of International Law early 2020.