Rule of Law and Accountability in Peacekeeping

A lot of my current work is concerned with the legal aspects of peace support operations. It was therefore with much anticipation that I accepted an invitation to present on the challenges of attribution in the context of peace operations as part of a one-day workshop on the ‘Rule of Law and Accountability in Peacekeeping’ held on 28 January 2014 in Berlin. The workshop was jointly convened by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the United Nations Association of Germany and the Center for International Peace Operations.

I have written on various aspects of the attribution problem before, including the Behrami case and on some of the shortcomings of DARIO. However, on this occasion I decided to take a step back and look at the recent case-law as a whole. The striking thing is that international practice does not seem to be converging around a single model of attribution, but remains utterly inconsistent. The gulf between the approaches taken at the different stages of the Nuhanović case, for instance, or the approaches adopted by the Dutch and the German courts, is remarkable and calls for further work. Many thanks to the participants for a fascinating discussion and the organizers for convening a great event!

Below follows ZIF’s write-up of the event.