The Invocation of Necessity in International Law

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References

  1. 1.

    Faber case, German-Venezuelan Mixed Claims Commission (1903), 10 Reports of International Arbitral Awards (RIAA) p. 438 at p. 466.

  2. 2.

    Art. 25, Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (‘ARSIWA’), noted by the General Assembly and annexed to the General Assembly Resolution (GA Res.) 56/83 (2002), 12 December 2001.

  3. 3.

    Sceptic commentators include I. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2003) p. 448; E. Jiménez de Aréchaga, ‘International Responsibility’, in M. Sørensen, ed., Manual of Public International Law (London, Macmillan 1968) pp. 531-603 at pp. 542-543; and S. Glaser, ‘Quelques remarques sur l’état de nécessité en droit international’, 32 Revue de droit pénal et de criminologie (1952) pp. 570-603 at pp. 598 et seq.

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  4. 4.

    The use of force is a traditional focal point of the necessity doctrine, see O. Spiermann, ‘Humanitarian Intervention as a Necessity and the Threat or Use of Jus Cogens’, 71 Nordic JIL (2002) pp. 523–543 at p. 533. I. Brownlie, International Law and the Use of Force by States (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1963) p. 376.

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    O. Gross and F. Ni Aolain, ‘Emergency, War and International Law — Another Perspective’, 70 Nordic JIL (2001) pp. 29–63 at p. 31.

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  6. 6.

    Gross and Ni Aolain, supra n. 5 and 36; J.J.A. Salmon, ‘Faut-il codifier l’état de nécessité en droit international’, in J. Makarczyk, ed., Essays in Honour of Judge Manfred Lachs (The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff 1984) pp. 235-270 at pp. 238-239; and J. Barboza, ‘Necessity (Revisited) in International Law’, ibid., pp. 27-43 at p. 28. Cf., B. Cheng, General Principles of Law as Applied by International Courts and Tribunals (London, Stevens and Sons 1953). Cf., H. Grotius, De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres, Vol. II (Translation), Book III (Washington, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1925) pp. 599 et seq.

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    R. Ago, ‘The Internationally Wrongful Act of the State, Source of International Responsibility’, Eighth Report on State Responsibility, Addendum (1980), ILC, 32nd sess., UN Doc. A/CN.4/318/Add.5, p. 8, para. 8.

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  8. 8.

    Gross and Ni Aolain, supra n. 5. See also the dissenting opinion of Judge Krylov in the Corfu Channel case (United Kingdom v. Albania), ICJ Reports (1949) p. 3 at p. 77, holding the law of necessity, or self-help, to be obsolete after the coming into force of the UN Charter.

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  9. 9.

    Ago, supra n. 7, p. 11, with references in fn. 15.

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  10. 10.

    Cf., de Visscher, quoted in Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 239.

  11. 11.

    J. Crawford and S. Olleson, ‘The Nature and Forms of International Responsibility’, in M.D. Evans, International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2003) pp. 446–470 at p. 464: ‘A State is not required to sacrifice human life or to suffer inordinate damage to its interests in order to fulfil its international obligations.’ Cf., the Russian Indemnity case (Russia v. Turkey) (1912), 11 RIAA p. 430.

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  12. 12.

    See recounts in, inter alia, J. Crawford, The International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility: Introduction, Text and Commentaries (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2002) p. 179 and A.D. McNair, ed., International Law Opinions, Vol. II (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 1956) p. 221. Cf., Report of the ILC on the Work of Its 32nd Session (5 May-25 July 1980), UN Doc. A/35/10 (‘ILC Rep. 1980’), p. 93.

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  13. 13.

    Note from American Secretary of State D. Webster to H. Fox, British Minister to Washington, 24 April 1841, reiterated in ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 93, fn. 129, and in McNair, supra n. 12, p. 222.

  14. 14.

    Rainbow Warrior case (New Zealand v. France) (1990), 20 RIAA p. 217 at p. 254, para. 78; Jiménez de Aréchaga, supra n. 3, p. 543, cited in the Rainbow Warrior case; cf., P. Okowa, ‘Defences in the Jurisprudence of International Tribunals’, in G.S. Goodwin-Gill and S. Talmon, The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999) pp. 389–411 at p. 399.

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  15. 15.

    See ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 102, fn. 142, for references.

  16. 16.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case (Hungary v. Slovakia), ICJ Reports (1997) p. 7 at p. 40, para. 51. Hungary invoked ecological necessity referring to the Pacific Fur Seals Arbitration (1893), in J.B. Moore, History and Digest of the International Arbitrations to which the United States Has Been a Party, Vol. I (Washington, DC, Government Printing Office 1898) pp. 755–961 at p. 826, a case falling under the modern definition of necessity for the same reason as the Caroline case, supra n. 12.

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  17. 17.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 81, with reference to British and Foreign State Papers 1893–1894 Vol. 86 (London, H.M. Stationery Office 1899) pp. 219-220, letter of 12/24 February 1893 from the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs to the British Ambassador. S. Talmon, The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999) pp. 401 Okowa, supra n. 14.

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    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 52; Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, ICJ Reports (2004) p. 136 (‘Construction of a Wall case’); and CMS Gas Transmission Co. v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/01/8, Award, 20 April 2005, para. 317.

  19. 19.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 51. Cf., earlier assertions such as O. Schachter, International Law in Theory and Practice (Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1991) p. 166, see infra in relation to rescue of nationals, n. 167 and accompanying text.

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  20. 20.

    Crawford and Olleson, supra n. 11. See also the Oscar Chinn case (United Kingdom v. Belgium), PCIJ, Ser. A/B (1934) No. 63, p. 112 (Individual Opinion of Judge Anzilotti), cited in Cheng, supra n. 6, p. 73; E. Davidsson, ‘The UN Security Council’s Obligations of Good Faith’, 15 Florida JIL (2003) pp. 541-573 at p. 547.

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  21. 21.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 82. Cf., the white paper issued by the United Kingdom government, The Torrey Canyon, Cmnd. 3246 (London, H.M. Stationery Office 1967); Crawford, supra n. 12.

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  22. 22.

    See, e.g., M.N. Shaw, International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2003) p. 712.

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  23. 23.

    See, e.g., the Société Commerciale de Belgique case (Belgium v. Greece), PCIJ, Ser. C (1939) No. 87, p. 209. The Greek government referred to force majeure, adding that various writers expressed the same idea with the term ‘état de nécessité’.

  24. 24.

    L. Le Fur, ‘La théorie du droit naturel depuis le XVIIe siècle et la doctrine moderne’, 18 Recueil des Cours de l’Académie de Droit International (‘RdC’) (1927-III) p. 430.

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  25. 25.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 69-70; C. Tomuschat, ‘International Responsibility and Liability’, 281 RdC (1999) pp. 268–303 at p. 288.

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  26. 26.

    Art. 23 of ARSIWA; ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 70. Cf., the Rainbow Warrior case, supra n. 14, p. 253, para. 77, where the Tribunal stated that force majeure implied involuntary acts or unintentional conduct brought about by an irresistible force or an unforeseen external event. That a circumstance renders performance more difficult or burdensome does not constitute force majeure.

  27. 27.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 70-71; Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 245; Crawford and Olleson, supra n. 11. Consequently, imputability or questions of fault or due diligence is generally not problematic when necessity is concerned, as it implies a ‘guilty plea’, cf., A. Cassese, International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press 2001) pp. 191-192.

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  28. 28.

    Art. 24 of ARSIWA; cf., Rainbow Warrior case, supra n. 14, p. 253, para. 78. The fatal threat to the individual who decides on the conduct chosen makes the choice utterly artificial. See also ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 71; Crawford and Olleson, supra n. 11.

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  29. 29.

    S. Talmon, The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999) pp. 398 Okowa, supra n. 14; Tomuschat, supra n. 25, p. 287.

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  30. 30.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 71; Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 236. See the Rainbow Warrior case, supra n. 14, p. 254, para. 78.

  31. 31.

    See Allott’s objection to state responsibility in general creating a veil behind which responsible individuals hide, P. Allott, ‘State Responsibility and the Unmaking of International Law’, 29 Harvard ILJ (1988) pp. 1–26 and infra n. 187 and accompanying text.

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  32. 32.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, para. 32; Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 53.

  33. 33.

    Cf., Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 239.

  34. 34.

    S. Rose-Ackerman and B. Billa, ‘Treaties and National Security’, 40 NYU Journal of International Law and Politics (2008) pp. 437–496.

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  35. 35.

    Interests invoked include protection of environmental and ecological interests (Pacific Fur Seals Arbitration, supra n. 16 and infra n. 106; Torrey Canyon, supra n. 21 and infra n. 39; Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16); grave financial difficulties (Venezuela Railroads case (France v. Venezuela), French-Venezuelan Mixed Claims Commission (1902), 10 RIAA p. 285 at p. 353; LG&E v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/02/1, Decision on Liability, 3 October 2006); ensuring the safety of a civilian population (Anglo-Portuguese Dispute of 1832, infra n. 40; 1960 Belgian intervention in the Congo, infra n. 164; Caroline case, supra n. 12); concerns for sound state finances and the ability to provide services and shelter to the state’s nationals (Properties of the Bulgarian minorities in Greece of 1926, infra n. 119; the Russian Indemnity case of 1912, supra n. 11; and the Société Commerciale de Belgique case of 1939, supra n. 23 and infra n. 105). Arguably, ITLOS in the M/V Saiga No. 2 case accepted interest in maximizing tax revenue as ‘essential’ (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines v. Guinea), Admissibility and Merits, ITLOS (1999), 120 ILR p. 143, pp. 191-192. Cf., Fisheries Jurisdiction case (United Kingdom v. Iceland), ICJ Reports (1974) p. 3, where Iceland invoked ‘vital interests’ in terms of its ‘exceptional dependence … on its fishing for its existence and economic development’, para. 37.

  36. 36.

    See, for instance, S.F. Hill, ‘The “Necessity Defense” and the Emerging Arbitral Conflict in its Application to the U.S.-Argentina Bilateral Investment Treaty’, 13 Law and Business Review of the Americas (2007) pp. 547–567 discussing the decisions of two ICSID Tribunals relating to the Argentine measures to cope with economic crisis at the turn of the century, see infra; and J.T. Gauthii, ‘How Necessity May Preclude State Responsibility for Compulsory Licensing under the TRIPs Agreement’, 31 North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation (2006) pp. 943-970. However, as pointed out by W.W. Burke-White and A. von Staden, ‘Investment Protection in Extra-Ordinary Times: The Interpretation and Application of Non-Precluded Measures Provisions in Bilateral Investment Treaties’, 48 Virginia JIL (2008) pp. 307-410, many investment treaties contain clauses similar to the necessity defence, albeit with some important differences. The relationship between customary necessity and such clauses has yet to be further explored.

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  37. 37.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 51; cf., the M/V Saiga No. 2 case, supra n. 35, pp. 191-192, para. 135. In CMS v. Argentina, supra n. 18, para. 373, the bilateral investment treaty provision, similar to necessity, was construed to mean that a state is free to decide on its course of action, but that the reviewing body will determine whether necessity is applicable, cf., Hill, supra n. 36.

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  38. 38.

    In the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, the ICJ restated the ILC view that ecological concern over past decades had evolved into being considered an essential interest in state practice.

  39. 39.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 82-83 and 106. A Liberian oil tanker went aground off the coast of Cornwall, with a cargo of 119,000 tons of crude oil. The collision tore a hole in the hull and within two days nearly 30,000 tons of oil leaked, whereupon the British government decided to bomb the ship, in order to burn the remaining oil.

  40. 40.

    The danger must be instant, overwhelming and leaving no moment for deliberation, see supra n. 13 and accompanying text. See the Anglo-Portuguese Dispute of 1832 and the embargo against the Packet Chichester in 1829, both recounted in McNair, supra n. 12, pp. 231 et seq.; the Pacific Fur Seals Arbitration case, supra n. 16; the case of Dickson Car Wheel Company (USA v. United Mexican States), US-Mexican General Claims Commission (1931), 4 RIAA p. 669 at p. 681 and the Wimbledon case, PCIJ, Ser. C (1923) No. 3, Vol. I, pp. 284 et seq.

  41. 41.

    Canada argued risk for the extinction of straddling stocks and therefore asserted the right to take action to prevent further destruction of those stocks and permit their rebuilding, Fisheries Jurisdiction case (Spain v. Canada), Judgment, ICJ Reports (1998) p. 431 at p. 443, para. 20.

  42. 42.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, paras. 54-56. The uncertain nature of future damage made the threat against Hungarian interests a putative one. Cf., the Neptune case, in Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 253. Scientific uncertainty and the precautionary principle derived from environmental law were not included in the ARSIWA, as the ICJ had endorsed Art. 25 in present form in the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case. Necessity was already at the outer edge of tolerance of international law for wrongful conduct; see J. Crawford, Second Report on State Responsibility, ILC, 51st sess., UN Doc. A/CN.4/498/Add.2 (1999), p. 31, paras. 288-289.

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  43. 43.

    However, D. Dobos, ‘The Necessity of Precaution: The Future of Ecological Necessity and the Precautionary Principle’, 13 Fordham Environmental LJ (2001-2002) pp. 375–408 at pp. 387 et seq., notes that ecological precaution could have evolved already during the conflict in the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, why the precautionary principle could have been incorporated in ecological necessity as a soft law standard. Presumably, this would help determine whether it was a violation of environmental obligations erga omnes.

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  44. 44.

    Company General of the Orinoco case (1902), 10 RIAA p. 184 at pp. 280 et seq.; ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 84.

  45. 45.

    See Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16; ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, para. 33. This aligns with arguments pertaining to the stability of international law. States should, and indeed do, make assessments relating to the economic consequences of commitments under international law before, as opposed to after, other states have come to rely on them, cf., Rose-Ackerman and Billa, supra n. 34.

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  46. 46.

    CMS v. Argentina, supra n. 18, para. 324.

  47. 47.

    R. Boed, ‘State of Necessity as Justification for Internationally Wrongful Conduct’, 3 Yale Human Rights & Development LJ (2000) pp. 1–43 at pp. 16-18.

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  48. 48.

    B. Simma, ‘The Work of the International Law Commission at Its Fifty-First Session (1999)’, 68 Nordic JIL (1999) pp. 293–361 at p. 314.

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  49. 49.

    Oscar Chinn case, supra n. 20, pp. 112-114 (Individual Opinion of Judge Anzilotti). Cf., the Faber and Neptune cases, see Salmon, supra n. 6, pp. 245-246. Cf. also the two ICSID cases against Argentina referred to in this article, where in the second, LG&E v. Argentina, supra n. 35, the Tribunal applied a somewhat different test than Judge Anzilotti.

  50. 50.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 55.

  51. 51.

    M/V Saiga No. 2 case, supra n. 35, pp. 191-192. The Tribunal referred to the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case and also distinguished between the notions of public interest or self-protection and state of necessity, both which concepts Guinea had invoked to justify application of its customs laws to the exclusive economic zone.

  52. 52.

    Construction of a Wall case, supra n. 18, para. 140. Cf., G.R. Watson, ‘The Wall Decisions in Legal and Political Context’, 99 AJIL (2005) pp. 6–26 at p. 15.

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  53. 53.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 58. Cf., Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 254, quoting Samuel Pufendorf, writing in 1752.

  54. 54.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, para. 35; Boed, supra n. 47; Ago, supra n. 7, p. 15, para. 15.

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  55. 55.

    See ILC Yearbook (1980-I), 1618th meeting, pp. 182-183, para. 41, cited in Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 256; cf., Ago, supra n. 7, p. 32, para. 35.

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  56. 56.

    Salmon, supra n. 6, pp. 257-259.

  57. 57.

    Ibid., p. 269.

  58. 58.

    B. Simma and A.L. Paulus, ‘The “International Community”: Facing the Challenge of Globalization’, 9 EJIL (1998) pp. 266–277 at p. 268.

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  59. 59.

    The notion of obligations erga omnes is now well supported in international law. See Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Company, Ltd case (Belgium v. Spain), ICJ Reports (1970) p. 3, at p. 32. Cf., M. Ragazzi, The Concept of International Obligations Erga Omnes (Oxford, Clarendon Press 1997) p. 74; and B. Simma, ‘Bilateralism and Community Interest in the Law of State Responsibility’, in Y. Dinstein, ed., International Law at a Time of Perplexity (Dordrecht, Nijhoff 1989) pp. 821-844 at p. 825.

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    S. Talmon, The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999) pp. 390–391 Okowa, supra n. 14. Cf., Schachter, supra n. 19, p. 194. Countermeasures in response to a prior breach may not be taken, if it entails violating obligations erga omnes. The same should be the case for necessity, in light of the reference to the interests of the international community as a whole.

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  61. 61.

    Art. 26 of ARSIWA; ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 107, para. 37. On the relation between necessity and peremptory norms, see J.E. Vinuales, ‘State of Necessity and Peremptory Norms in International Investment Law’, 14 Law and Business Review of the Americas (2008) pp. 79–103.

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    Nicaragua case (Nicaragua v. United States), ICJ Reports (1984) p. 14, para. 191; see also the Separate Opinion of President Singh, p. 153.

  63. 63.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, p. 92. Cf., Art. 5 of the Definition of Aggression (1974), GA Res. 3314 (XXIX), providing in para. 1 that ‘[n]o consideration of whatever nature, whether political, economic, military or otherwise, may serve as a justification for aggression’.

  64. 64.

    Cf., Ago, supra n. 7, characterising aggression prohibited under jus cogens more narrowly than the prohibition of the use of force pursuant to Art. 2(4) of the UN Charter, see quote in Ragazzi, supra n. 59, p. 77, fn. 13. Simma, supra n. 48, p. 314; ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 91-92. The Definition of Aggression, supra n. 63, refers to the ‘most serious and dangerous form of the illegal use of force’, indicating that there are uses of force which are not acts of aggression. See also on this A. Laursen, ‘The Use of Force and (the State of) Necessity’, 37 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law (2004) pp. 485-526 at pp. 509 et seq.

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  65. 65.

    The Court referred to the General Assembly Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (1970), GA Res. 2625 (XXV), which exemplifies less grave forms of force as, e.g., forcible actions depriving people of equal rights or self-determination, or the organisation or financing of armed bands or mercenaries for incursions into or terrorist attacks in another state’s territory.

  66. 66.

    Salmon, supra n. 6, pp. 263-264. See further on this topic infra in section 3.

  67. 67.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 92-93.

  68. 68.

    Cf., H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (Oxford, Clarendon Press 1994) pp. 79–99. Secondary norms allow officials to recognise if there have been violations of primary norms and decide on sanctions, usually also prescribed by secondary norms. A similar distinction has been used in the ILC’s work on state responsibility, see Crawford, supra n. 12, pp. 14 et seq.

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  69. 69.

    Crawford, supra n. 42; Laursen, supra n. 64, pp. 511-512.

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  70. 70.

    Construction of a Wall case, supra n. 18, para. 85. Cf., the Palestinian written statement, paras. 271-79 and CR 2004/01, p. 18, available at <http://www.icj-cij.org>.

  71. 71.

    Construction of a Wall case, supra n. 18, paras. 87 and 121. Citing its finding from the Nicaragua case, supra n. 62, paras. 187-190, the Court declared that the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force was customary international law.

  72. 72.

    An act may be characterised as aggressive annexation even when no great deal of force is used, e.g., because overwhelming military power makes it redundant, as in the German Anschluss of Austria and the annexation of Namibia by South Africa. See B.V.A Röling, ‘The 1974 UN Definition of Aggression’, in A. Cassese, ed., The Current Legal Regulation of the Use of Force (Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986) pp. 413–421 at pp. 413 et seq.

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  73. 73.

    See Construction of a Wall case, supra n. 18, para. 121.

  74. 74.

    Ibid., paras. 140-142. See below on the relationship between the laws of treaties and of state responsibility.

  75. 75.

    Ago, supra n. 7, p. 53, fn. 94.

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  76. 76.

    See ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, pp. 95-96. Regarding this, see further sections 3.2 and 3.3.

  77. 77.

    Crawford, supra n. 12.

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  78. 78.

    ILC Rep. 1980, supra n. 12, para. 38, e.g., where substantive law has already taken account of the abnormality of the situation; Crawford, supra n. 12; Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 261, quoting J.-P.-A. François, ‘Règles générales du droit de la paix’, 66 RdC (1938-IV) pp. 1-294 at p. 183.

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    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 57. Contribution to a state of necessity as hindrance to its invocation was also applied in a case before the European Court of Justice, SpA Ferriera Valsabbia and others v. Commission of the European Communities, ECJ, 18 March 1980, Case 154/78, [1980] ECR 907 at p. 1023, para. 144, cited in Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 262, fn. 102. Analogically, it could perhaps have been raised in Construction of a Wall, I. Scobbie, ‘Words My Mother Never Taught Me — In Defense of the International Court’, 99 AJIL (2005) pp. 76–88 at p. 84.

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  80. 80.

    LG&E v. Argentina case, supra n. 35, para. 256; Hill, supra n. 36.

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  81. 81.

    Salmon, supra n. 6, p. 270.

  82. 82.

    CMS v. Argentina, supra n. 18, paras. 328-329. Cf., LG&E v. Argentina, supra n. 35. It should be noted that the CMS Award has since been annulled.

  83. 83.

    J. Raby, ‘The State of Necessity and the Use of Force to Protect Nationals’, 26 Canadian YIL (1988) pp. 253–272 at p. 265, see further in section 3.1 and 3.3. Cf., supra n. 48 and accompanying text.

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  84. 84.

    P. Reuter, Introduction to the Law of Treaties (London, Pinter 1989) p. 150.

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    S. Rosenne, Breach of Treaty (Cambridge, Grotius Publ. 1985) pp. 3–4. Apart from the general duty under the law of treaties to adhere to treaties entered into and upkeep these in good faith.

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    A. Aust, Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 2000) pp. 300 et seq.

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    J. Crawford, First Report on State Responsibility (1998), ILC, 50th sess., UN Doc. A/CN.4/490, p. 4, paras. 12-18. Cf., Rainbow Warrior case, supra n. 14, p. 251, para. 75; Interpretation of Peace Treaties case, Advisory Opinion, ICJ Reports (1950) p. 221 at p. 228.

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    Crawford, supra n. 12; cf., Laursen, supra n. 64, p. 512.

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  89. 89.

    See, e.g., the 1960 Belgian Intervention in the Congo incident, infra n. 164; the Caroline test, supra nn. 12-13 and accompanying text, and the Israeli submissions in the Construction of a Wall case.

  90. 90.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 47.

  91. 91.

    Rainbow Warrior case, supra n. 14, paras. 73-75.

  92. 92.

    1155 UNTS (1969) p. 331, Part V, Section 3; see in particular Arts. 60-62 and 64, concerning termination or suspension as a result of breach of treaty, supervening impossibility of performance, fundamental change of circumstances and the emergence of jus cogens norms contrasting the treaty.

  93. 93.

    Cf., D.W. Bowett, ‘Treaties and State Responsibility’, in Le Droit international au service de la paix, de la justice et du développement: Mélange Michel Virally (Paris, Pedone 1991) pp. 137–145 at p. 137.

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    Cf., e.g., Arts. 30(5) and 61(2), dealing with breaches of international obligations. See Bowett, supra n. 93; and Reuter, supra n. 84, p. 150. Laursen, supra n. 64, p. 513, has submitted that the ILC took a similar view in relation to difficult questions concerning humanitarian intervention: the issue was, so to speak, put on hold for further consideration.

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  95. 95.

    Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project case, supra n. 16, para. 51.

  96. 96.

    Ibid., para. 47; S. Talmon, The Reality of International Law; Essays in Honour of Ian Brownlie (Oxford, Oxford University Press 1999) pp. 393–394 Okowa, supra n. 14.

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    ILC Yearbook (1966-II), UN Doc. A/CN.4/SER.A/1966/Add.1, p. 236, commenting on Art. 42 of the VCLT; cf., Bowett, supra n. 93, pp. 138-139.

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    Bowett, supra n. 93.

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    P. Sevastik, The Binding Force of Treaties Under International Law — Handbook for Government Lawyers and Human Rights Advocates (Uppsala, Iustus 1997) p. 76.

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    Simma, supra n. 48.

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  101. 101.

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    This finding is at odds with the previous decision by an ICSID Tribunal, the case of CMS v. Argentina, supra n. 18, paras. 323-324, where the measures were not considered the only means available to cope with the crisis; cf., M. Friedman, et al., ‘International Arbitration’, 41 International Lawyer (2007) pp. 251–290 at pp. 282 et seq.; L.M. Caplan, et al., ‘International Courts and Tribunals’, 41 International Lawyer (2007) pp. 291-316 at pp. 312 et seq. Later similar cases have been equally divided: see Sempra Energy Int’l v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. Arb/02/16, Award, 28 September 2007; Enron Corp. Ponderas Asset, L.P. v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. Arb/01/3, Award, 22 May 2007; and Continental Casualty Company v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/03/9, Award, 5 September 2008.

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    Criticised by some, e.g., M. Pomerance, ‘The ICJ’s Advisory Jurisdiction and the Crumbling Wall Between the Political and the Judicial’, 99 AJIL (2005) pp. 26–42. Others viewed this more favourably, R.A. Falk, ‘Toward Authoritativeness: The ICJ Ruling on Israel’s Security Wall’, 99 AJIL (2005) pp. 42-52.

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This article is a condensed and revised version of the author’s LL M thesis, supervised by Professor Iain Cameron. The author wishes to express her gratitude to the Swedish Institute for International Law for kind funding making the finalisation of this article possible; to Professor Cameron for his thought-provoking comments and encouraging mentorship; and to the Board of Editors of the Netherlands International Law Review for useful comments on a previous draft. All errors are the sole responsibility of the author.

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Agius, M. The Invocation of Necessity in International Law. Neth Int Law Rev 56, 95–135 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0165070X09000953

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Keywords

  • State Responsibility
  • Project Case
  • Wall Case
  • Military Necessity
  • Peremptory Norm