Dr Danae Azaria speaks on State Silence at UN 33rd Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers
20 November 2023
Dr Azaria’s talk was part of a panel on “Democratization of Sources of International Law” and focused on her research on State Silence.
On 24 October 2023, Dr Danae Azaria, invited by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations (Headquarters, New York), spoke at the 33rd “Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers of Ministries of Foreign Affairs” on the margin of the meeting of the Sixth Committee (Legal Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly.
Dr Azaria’s talk formed part of a panel on “Democratization of Sources of International Law”, moderated by Professor Bimal Patel (Member of the United Nations International Law Commission). The other speakers were Professor Antony Anghie, and Mr Pinitpuvadol (Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, ‘AALCO’).
Dr Azaria’s talk concerned an aspect of her research on State Silence, funded by a starting grant of the European Research Council. Dr Azaria argued that existing international law on acquiescence does not consider the real capacities of different States. Dr Azaria then reflected on the advantages and challenges of two models through which the different real capacities of States could be taken into account within the rule on acquiescence: what she calls the ‘average State capacity’ option; and what she calls the ‘differentiated legislative responsibility’ option. She argued that while the ‘average State capacity’ model does not achieve the objective of substantive equality, the ‘differentiated legislative responsibility’ model has the potential to undermine the determinacy of international law.
The 2023 Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers of Ministries of Foreign Affairs was held at the UN headquarters in New York.
In 1989, an initiative was taken by the Legal Advisers of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Canada, India, Mexico, Poland and Sweden to bring together the Heads of Legal Departments of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the United Nations. As a result, informal discussions have been held among these persons at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on the margin of the meetings of the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
The term “Legal Adviser” in this context is a short form for “Head of the Office responsible for International Legal Services”. By this is meant the person who is responsible for international legal matters within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for formulating instructions to the representatives of his or her country in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly or for supervising this activity.