GCILS will welcome Dr Priya Urs (University of Oxford) to discuss the paper ‘The Elusiveness of Interdependent Obligations and the Invocation of Responsibility for Their Breach’.


Since the adoption in 2001 of the International Law Commission’s ‘Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts’, attention has been increasingly drawn to the enforcement by states individually of multilateral obligations. The Commission, for its part, addressed the invocation of responsibility for breaches of such obligations by distinguishing between the entitlements of ‘an injured State’, under Article 42, and ‘a State other than injured State’, under Article 48. In line with this distinction, recent discussion has focused largely on the entitlement of a state other than an injured state to invoke responsibility for breaches of obligations owed erga omnes partes or erga omnes, in accordance with Article 48. Yet very little attention is paid in the discussion to ‘interdependent obligations’, which, while deemed to constitute a subset of obligations erga omnes partes, were deliberately placed by the Commission in Article 42(b)(ii) as obligations whose breach was said to give rise to injury on the part of ‘all the other States to which the obligation is owed’. This paper lends necessary clarity to this ‘curious category’ of obligations with a view to the distinction between Article 42(b)(ii) and Article 48, both of which address breaches of multilateral obligations for the protection of collective interests, but which set out different routes to the invocation of responsibility. 

Location: Room 207, 10 Professors’ Square

Time: 3pm, Thursday 11th January 2024

Registration: In-person attendance only. To attend, please register via Bookitbee.

Tea and coffee will be provided.

Priya Urs is an international lawyer with a PhD from University College London (2021), a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge (2014), and a Bachelor of Arts and Law from the National Law School of India University (2013). Previous positions include a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Blavatnik School of Government (2021–22) and a Research Fellowship at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (2014–17). Her research interests span across public international law and, in addition to general aspects, include international criminal law, the law on the use of force, and international dispute settlement. Dr Urs doctoral research in international criminal law sought to arrive at a suitable balance between prosecutorial discretion and judicial oversight in the application of the gravity criterion for admissibility at the International Criminal Court.