Grotius remarked that ‘Kings … have a Right to exact Punishments … for Injuries … which are, in any Person whatsoever, grievous Violations of the Law of Nature or Nations’.1 This identified one of the aspects of the modern international law of State responsibility: a subject of international law is empowered to respond to any serious breach of international norms for the protection of other entities. The appearance in international law of the concepts of peoples and minorities, and of the rights attached to them, is relatively recent. But the definition of these...
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