Principles and conditions for the application of countermeasures in the contemporary international law

Анатолий Леонидович Чернявский


The article is devoted to the study of the conditions for the use of countermeasures in the contemporary international law. The application of countermeasures is not sufficiently regulated by the written norms of international law and is predominantly non-codified in a customary manner. The type and size of the countermeasures must be proportional to the offense committed, and the use countermeasures may be recognized as lawful only if the injured State or an international organization puts the offender in a position to comply with its obligations and notify of possible countermeasures. The basic principles of the application of countermeasures are the following: countermeasures should apply only to the State which has committed an internationally wrongful act; the unlawful nature of the act must be determined solely on the basis of the norms of international law; the purpose of applying countermeasures is to restore legitimate rights and interests of the victim only; countermeasures should ensure the return to the previous state that existed prior to the commission of an international offense and should not cause irreparable damage; the application of countermeasures is temporary only. The use of countermeasures is permissible only in case of exhaustion by the victim of other parties not connected with the use of means of protection of their rights and should be terminated when the violated right will be restored. Certain international obligations cannot be terminated in the order of application of countermeasures against the offender. These include, in particular, the obligation to refrain from using force or threat of force, an obligation to protect fundamental human rights, humanitarian obligations and other obligations arising from imperative norms of general international law.


counter measures; international responsibility; international sanctions; international coercion; international wrongful act


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ISSN 2224-9281