Third Party Complicity:
The Overlooked Contribution of Third States’ Obligation of Non-Recognition to the Enforcement of International Law
Dr Valentina Azarova, Manchester International Law Centre (MILC), University of Manchester
December 4, Tuesday, 18:00
Place : V 03
Abstract : States are subject to increasing pressure to review transnational dealings that contribute to wrongful acts, while international law’s response to cases of complicity is unsatisfactory. This talk explores an overlooked conception of third party complicity found in the law on the responsibility of third states and their obligation of non-recognition as lawful of ‘serious breaches of peremptory norms’. It conceptualises breaches of this obligation (ie acts of wrongful recognition) in the context of transnational dealings as assistance to objectively illegal ‘situations’. From this perspective, the talk looks at; UK and US arms transfers and technical assistance to Saudi Arabia (in relation to its military campaign in Yemen), Italy’s cooperation with Libyan authorities to control migration, and European governments’ data-sharing with the US and assistance to its drone strikes.
Dr Valentina Azarova is an international legal academic and practitioner, working on foreign territorial control, the law of (third) state responsibility, and the international legal practice of non-governmental organisations. She is a member of the Manchester International Law Centre, University of Manchester and Legal and Strategic Advisor to the Global Legal Action Network, a collective that challenges exploitative transnational dealings. She has visiting positions at Bard College Berlin and at Ruhr University in Bochum. She has experience in legal actions and advocacy against structural violence of armed conflict, occupation, and economic exploitation with a focus on third party complicity. Dr Azarova co-founded and taught on the BA programme in Human Rights and International Law at Al-Quds University. She held academic positions at Birzeit University and University of the Holy Spirit of Kaslik in Lebanon, Central European University and Koç University.