The prohibition of state terrorism and questions of attribution

Kimberley N. Trapp

in State Responsibility for International Terrorism

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199592999
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729102 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs in International Law

The prohibition of state terrorism and questions of attribution

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Chapter 2 explores the obligations to refrain from engaging in or supporting acts of international terrorism as specific instantiations of the general international law prohibitions of aggression and the use of force, and the principle of non-intervention. It further examines the secondary rules of attribution as they apply in the terrorism context (informing the analysis of which prohibition is breached), and critically engages with arguments that the rules of attribution are inadequate to meet the threat of terrorism. In particular, Chapter 2 argues that the ‘effective control’ standard for attribution adopted by the ICJ in Nicaragua was driven by the facts of the case and is ill-suited to determine State involvement in international terrorism. Chapter 2 advocates instead a context-sensitive application of Article 8 of the ILC Articles on State Responsibility and further argues that the ICJ’s jurisprudence and relevant State practice do not support complicity as an emerging basis of attribution for acts of terrorism.

Keywords: State terrorism; aggression; use of force; non-intervention; attribution; Nicaragua Case; Tadic; effective control; overall control; complicity

Chapter.  22378 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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