Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on IOs, Peacekeeping and Attribution...

Just to keep things ticking over on here, I wanted to post a quick link to this interesting and detailed analysis by Antonios Tzanakopoulos over at the EJIL:Talk! blog on the vexed issues of attribution of the conduct of peacekeeping forces to the international organizations that have instigated or approved their presence. He focuses in particular on the issues surrounding the use of private military companies (PMCs), and concludes that here, at least where they are employed by IOs directly, attribution of their conduct is pretty much automatic. If, that is, the ILC´s Draft Articles on the Responsibility of International Organizations have called it right. Draft Article 4(1) states:

The conduct of an organ or agent of an international organization in the performance of functions of that organ or agent shall be considered as an act of that organization under international law whatever position the organ or agent holds in respect of the organization.

As Tzanakopoulos notes, any PMC hired by an IO would automatically become an agent of the latter, and thus attribution of their conduct to the IO in question would be similarly automatic. Which makes it significantly easier to attribute the conduct of PMCs to IOs than it does that of national forces used in peacekeeping missions (where "effective control" must be demonstrated), and - perhaps more surprsingly - the conduct of PMCs to States that employ their services (in which case, according to Tzanakopoulos, "one would have to argue basically either that the PMSC exercises elements of governmental authority or that it is directed or (effectively) controlled by that State). He then goes on to examine in more detail this difference, and other aspects of the issues surrounding attribution of peacekeepers´ conduct to IOs. Well worth a read.

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