Book Donation: Towards a Regime of Responsibility of Armed Groups in International Law


My name is Laura Íñigo Álvarez and I am a doctor in International Law. I conducted my PhD research between Utrecht University and the University of Seville under a Joint Doctorate Agreement. During the time I spent in the Netherlands, I visited the Peace Palace Library several times and wrote part of my thesis there. I am really grateful to have had the opportunity to consult sources from such a huge collection of books and journals on international law.

Moreover, I counted on the assistance of the amazing staff working there. I also participated in the summer courses of The Hague Academy of International Law in 2016, which was definitely a unique experience. I really enjoyed the courses and seminars we had during those three enriching weeks, together with the legal and cultural activities that were organised. In fact, the following year I decided to offer my help as volunteer assisting in the logistics of the summer courses. Last month my book was published by Intersentia and I did not doubt for a minute about donating a copy to the Peace Palace Library, a place that has witnessed this result.

This book examines how the principles of international responsibility could be developed and adjusted to account for armed groups as collective entities, looking at issues of attribution of conduct and reparations. This question arises because there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the framework of responsibility for armed groups in international law. Previous efforts have focused exclusively on indirect mechanisms for holding armed groups accountable such as state responsibility or individual criminal responsibility. The central idea of the book is that core principles of responsibility and attribution can be used as the main guidance for attributing international responsibility to organised armed groups as far as the necessary adjustments are introduced. In doing so, this book argues that certain “non-traditional” sources of international law could be used to interpret and adapt international law to the current conditions of contemporary armed conflict. The book is divided into three main parts: the first part looks at the added value of a responsibility regime for armed groups; the second part analyses the issue of attribution of conduct considering centralised and decentralised armed groups; and the third part examines the legal consequences of responsibility, with a particular focus on the obligation to provide.