Countermeasures Under the Law of Essay

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(Malone 2004)

Coordination / diplomacy are the most common approach used when a nation state is in violation of international law. What happens is the UN Security Council members will work with the country to address the issue. Where, they will examine a host of different possibilities that could encourage the government, to abandon the policies that are in violation of international standards. The objective is to use various forms of negotiation and coordination among the world community, to entice a particular country to embrace international standards. A good example of this can be seen with the six party talks that would take place between North Korea and the different partners in the region to include: the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, South Korea along with EU. This is important, because it highlights how the Security Council is trying to address the impasse of North Korea violating UN resolutions. Where, they are attempting to discuss the issues, before taking more drastic steps to entice compliance. In this aspect, this would relate to the law of state responsibility, by highlighting the first countermeasure that would be used, to push the country to accept responsibility for its actions. (Stockholm International Peace Research 2010, pp. 390 -- 393)

Established international institutions are when the UN (through the international community) has created a number of different organizations to: enforce various resolutions and standards. This approach is taken after various negotiations have failed. However, it can also work before or after the use of force has been authorized. A good example of this can be seen with the extradition of Charles Taylor (the President of Liberia) to the ICC on war crimes and genocide charges. What happened was he had knowingly authorized the violation of various attacks against civilians during the civil war in Sierra Leon. After the conflict was over and the UN had sent peacekeepers into the region, there would be a concentrated effort in going after Taylor. As he was believed to be the perpetrator of the conflict in Sierra Leon and would continually violate international standards of the laws of state responsibility. At which point, he would eventually be arrested and sent to the Hague (the location of the ICC) for trial. This is significant, because it shows another way that different countermeasures are enforced (through established institutions). As they have authority over the nation state and the actions of their leaders. (Duthel 2008, p 31)

The use of force is when a nation state has refused to follow the different resolutions (calling for them to halt various activities). After a nation continues to ignore these different standards, is the point that this will become necessary. As the Security Council, must prevent such abuses of international law from taking place. A good example of this occurred in 1990, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. What happened was an oil dispute between the two nations would lead to an impasse. As neither country believed that they were violating the other's sovereignty, by claiming that they have rights to the reserves underneath the border. This was problematic, because the extraction of crude oil would highlight a dispute between the two countries, about who should have access to these reserves. After there was a breakdown in negotiations, Iraq would invade Kuwait and would annex the country (as its 19th province). After repeatedly ignoring calls to leave Kuwait, the UN Security Council would authorize the use of force to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Where, it would set a deadline for the nation to comply with various UN resolutions and international standards. At which point, the UN forces would remove Iraq from Kuwait and restore the government to power. This is significant, because it shows how the Security Council can authorize the use of force, during those instances when a nation state is knowingly violating international law. (Anderson 2004, pp. 77 -- 91)

When you step back and analyze who is responsible for enforcing the laws of state responsibility, it is clear that the UN Security Council will play a major role. Where, they will establish various mechanisms and procedures for enforcing these different standards. As this power, has been delegated to: member states and international institutions through various resolutions. This is indirectly authorizing select world powers (through the Security Council) the authorization to engage in actions, to support its different objectives. While at the same time, using international institutions, as a secondary way to investigate and enforce these standards. When you put these different elements together, this means that the power to adapt countermeasures is mainly reserved for the UN Security Council. However, they will delegate this authority to other states and institutions through various resolutions. Where, they are playing a secondary role in supporting the Security Council's objectives.


Clearly, the entity that is responsible for adopting different countermeasures under the law of state responsibility is the UN Security Council. As they are responsible for promoting and ensuring continued peace / stability around the globe. To achieve this objective, they will pass various resolutions calling for nation states that are in violation of such standards to become compliant. If the government fails to do so, there are a number of different tools that they can use to enforce these various regulations to include: coordination / diplomacy, through established international institutions and the use of force. To impose these provisions, the Security Council will delegate authority to different member states and international institutions. Where, they will play a major role in helping to enforce the various provisions of the Security Council. This is important, because it shows how numerous countermeasures are used through the United Nations on a limited basis. Where, they are designed to prevent hostilities, by allowing nations to discuss certain actions that could be a threat to peace and stability. If these discussions are unproductive, then, more severe actions can be taken, to enforce these standards upon the government. At which point, the Security Council will authorize a host of reactions through use of member states and international institutions. When you put these different elements together, this is highlighting the changing role of the law of state responsibility. As the nation state is no longer the highest authority that can look out for its own personal interests at all costs. Instead, there are now international standards that will highlight how it should be treating their citizens and foreign nationals inside its borders. Over the course of time, this has led to a change in focus, as these standards are becoming increasingly common, because of the different laws of state responsibility. At which point, a host of various governments will ensure that all minorities are protected, while helping to promote policies that will benefit everyone.


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