Complicity and the Law of International Organizations
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Complicity and the Law of International Organizations

Responsibility for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations in UN Peace Operations

Magdalena Pacholska

This timely book examines the responsibility of international organizations for complicity in human rights and humanitarian law violations. It comprehensively addresses a lacuna in current scholarship through an analysis of the mandates and modus operandi of UN peace operations, offering workable normative solutions and striking a balance between the UN’s duty not to contribute to international law violations and its need to discharge mandated tasks in a highly volatile environment.
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Chapter 6: Responsibility for complicity and the plurality of responsible actors

Magdalena Pacholska


When UN peacekeepers provide support that clearly and substantially facilitates the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes of jus cogens status, both the TCC and the UN can bear international responsibility for such conduct. Such responsibility is not subsidiary. Under ARS and ARIO, a wrongful action or omission may give rise to the responsibility of more than one State or international organization. Concurrent responsibility of the UN and the TCC for ‘joint complicity’ in the context of peacekeeping will most frequently arise in two scenarios. First, when the UN Force Commander gave an order which the National Contingent Commanders should have identified as potentially manifestly unlawful and consulted their home authorities before complying with it. Second, when a wrongful omission was attributable to the TCC because the National Contingent Commander refused to follow the UN orders, but the UN nonetheless accepted its responsibility for the given conduct.

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