Application of Bosnia v Serbia to the Individualist Charge of Ineffectiveness: A Defense of State Responsibility

Felix Lambrecht


This paper aims to combat the individualist challenge to the notion of state responsibility in international law. That is, this paper attempts to counter the criticism of international law that suggests responsibility for wrongful acts should be attributed to individuals rather than states. While prior scholarship has focused on the individualist's fairness complaint, this paper focuses on the charge of ineffectiveness that would remove states as the primary duty-bearers in international law. By using the International Court of Justice case of Bosnia v Serbia (2007), this paper demonstrates that there are long-term important obligations in the international system that require states to remain primary duty-bearers in international law.


state responsibility; individualist challenge; collective responsibility; International Court of Justice; Responsibility to Protect

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Copyright (c) 2017 Felix Lambrecht


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ISSN 1923-1334 (Online)

University of Victoria