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KFG Workshop: “Decline or Transformation? Norm Change and Values in International Law”

On 24 and 25 November 2017, Heike Krieger and Andrea Liese will be hosting the KFGs first Workshop. Convening renown scholars from international law and political science, the Workshop will scrutinize from an interdisciplinary perspective how international norms and their underlying values are changing.

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Public Event: Thomas Franck Lecture by Angelika Nußberger

“From high hopes to disillusionment? Human rights protection in Europe in an ever more hostile environment”, 30 November 2017, 6.15 pm, room 213, Unter den Linden 9

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Public Event: Thomas Franck Lecture by Andrea Bianchi

“'The Unbearable Lightness of International Law'”, 4 December 2017, 6.15 pm, room 213, Unter den Linden 9

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Contact us:
Berlin Potsdam Research Group
International Law - Rise or Decline?
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 2093-3322
e-Mail: info(at)kfg-intlaw.de
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Working Papers

KFG Working Paper Series No. 5

Rights and Obligations of Third Parties in Armed Conflicts

Heike Krieger - Download PDF PDF


This paper will turn into a contribution to a book on community obligations in international law. It is often said that international law has developed from a legal order which is designed to protect sovereignty to a system which also promotes community interests. This shift is said to be reflected in structural changes of the legal system. The creation of rights and obligations for third parties is generally seen as a part of this perceived paradigmatic shift. Community interests can be furthered either by negative duties of abstention, by an entitlement for third states, or even by duties to take positive measures. Since the shift towards protecting community interests apparently requires some form of cooperation, positive rights and duties to protect and to promote appear to be indispensable. Authors relying on a community perspective often dismiss duties of abstention as an expression of indifference in the face of a violation of a fundamental norm. Solidarity seems to require that third states take a more proactive role in actively enforcing community interests. The paper aims to test this understanding on the basis of an analysis of rights and obligations of third states in armed conflict. In order to argue that duties of abstention of third states are a central instrument for promoting community interests in relation to armed conflicts, the paper will first trace pertinent structural changes in international law. In particular, it will question the extent to which positive rights and obligations of third states have been firmly established in international law. In a second step, this contribution will evaluate the overall tendencies in the ongoing lawmaking process for promoting community interests in relation to armed conflict.

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