Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Disasters and International Law

Research Handbook on Disasters and International Law

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Susan C. Breau and Katja L.H. Samuel

International law’s role in governing disasters is undergoing a formative period in its development and reach, in parallel with concerted efforts by the international community to respond more effectively to the increasing number and intensity of disasters across the world. This Research Handbook examines a broad range of legal regimes directly and indirectly relevant to disaster prevention, mitigation and reconstruction across a spectrum of natural and manmade disasters, including armed conflict.

Chapter 21: A duty of solidarity? The International Law Commission’s Draft Articles and the right to offer assistance in disasters

Thérèse O’Donnell and Craig Allan

Subjects: environment, disasters, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, law and development, public international law, politics and public policy, environmental governance and regulation


International solidarity is proclaimed as a key value of the international community. Natural disasters offer the perfect context for its demonstration. Oftentimes international actors readily offer aid and assistance but the governing legal framework remains uncertain. Thus, the current ILC drafting project presents a welcome opportunity to codify and concretize matters. This chapter analyses the ILC draft article concerning external actors’ rights to offer assistance to disaster-stricken states. If the project’s focus is the protection of stricken populations, does this ‘right’ suggest or encourage the possibility of a duty to offer assistance when natural disasters strike? An alternative reading challenges any such duty. This chapter analyses the ‘right to offer’ in its own terms, and in the context of the other Draft Articles, and considers whether the draft provision materializes international solidarity.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information