Document Type : Article


1 Assistant Prof., Faculty of Law, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student in International Law, University of Qom, Qom, Iran



Violations of the human rights of the Shia community in Bahrain, which makes up the majority of Bahrain’s population, have been systematic and widespread for many years. These violations have been committed not only by the Al Khalifa regime as the government of Bahrain, but also by the Saudi regime as a neighbor of Bahrain. Investigating human rights violations of the Shia in Bahrain is very important from the perspective of the law of state responsibility as the basic rights of the Shia including the right to life and personal security and the right to citizenship, have been violated. Indeed, since heartbreaking and tragic acts have been committed in Bahrain, mechanisms under international law are necessary to hold the Bahraini and Saudi regimes accountable. The present paper will scrutinize the law of state responsibility in terms of establishing the international responsibility of the said states. It will be argued that the international responsibility of one state, does not preclude the international responsibility of another one. Each one could be held responsible for its internationally wrongful act and in case of overlapping, joint responsibility will occur.


  1. English

    A) Books

    1. Aust, Helmut Philipp (2011), Complicity and the Law of State Responsibility, Cambridge University Press.
    2. Crawford, James (2013), State Responsibility: The General Part, Cambridge University Press.


    B) Articles

    1. D’Asperamont, Jean (2007), “The Foundations of the International Legal Order”, Finnish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 18.
    2. Fry, James (2014), “Attribution of Responsibility”, in: Principles of Shared Responsibility in International Law: An Apprisal of the State of the Art, André Nollkaemper and Ilias Plakokefalos (eds.), Cambridge University Press.
    3. Joyner, Daniel (2017), “Arms Control”, in: André Nollkaemper and Ilias Plakekofalos, The Practice of Shared Responsibility in International Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 781-797.
    4. Nollkaemper, André (2011), “Issues of Shared Responsibility before the International Court of Justice”, in: Evolving Principles of International Law: Studies in Honor of Karel C Wellens, by Eva Rieter and Henry de Waele (eds.), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
    5. Quigley, John (1986), “Complicity in International Law: A New Direction in the Law of State Responsibility”, British Yearbook of International Law.
    6. Talmon, Stefan (2008), “A Plurality of Responsible Actors: International Responsibility for Acts of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq”, in: The Iraq War and International Law, Phil Shiner and Andrew Williams (eds.), Hart Publishing.
    7. Weir, Tony (1983), “Complex Liabilities”, in: André Tunc, International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, vol. xi (Torts), International Association of Legal Science.


    C) Cases and Documents

    1. Constitution of Bahrain (2002).
    2. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984). United Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. 1465.
    3. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979). United Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. 1249.
    4. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577.
    5. HRC (2007). Implementation of General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 entitled “Human Rights Council”, Report of the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Sigma Huda, Addendum, Mission to Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, A/HRC/4/23/Add.2.
    6. HRC (2014). Post-Sessional Document of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, A/HRC/104/1.
    7. HRC (2017). Annual Report & Oral Update to the 34th Sess. of the Human Rights Council.
    8. ICJ (2004). Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion.
    9. ILC Report (2011). Work of its Sixty-third Session, A/66/10, UNGAOR 66th Sess., Supp. No. 10. Draft Articles on Responsibility of International Organizations (ARIO)
    10. ILC Yearbook (2001), vol. II, part. 2, Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts (ARSIWA).
    11. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 999 & vol. 1057.
    12. International Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (1966). United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993.
    13. Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933). 26 December, 164 United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 164.
    14. OHCHR (2012). Universal Periodic Review, 21 Monday.
    15. UNGA Res. (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Res. 217 A (III).


    D) Analytical Blogpost

    1. Henderson, Simson (2011). “Bahrain’s Crisis: Saudi Forces Intervene”, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 15.


    E) Websites

    1. (last visited: 2021.07.19).
    2. /report-bahrain/ (last visited: 2021.08.30).
    3. (last visited: 2021.08.30).


    References in Persian:

    A) Books

    1. Ebrahimgol, Alireza (2013), The Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts with Commentaries, 2001, Under Supervision of Seyed Jamal Seifi, Tehran: The S.D. Institute of Law Research and Study (In Persian).
    2. Pourmasjedian, Fatemeh (2012), Qanoon Asasi Bahrain: Moshtamel Bar Tarjomeh Qanoon Asasi Bahrain; Fehrest Fosool; Matn 'Erba Qanwn Asasi, Tehran: M'eawnt Tadveen, Tanqih va Entsharat Qawanin va Moqarrat Riasat Jomhoori (In Persian).


    B) Articles

    1. Azizi, Sattar and Karimi Siamak (2016). “Derived International Responsibility Resulted from Aid or Assistance with Emphasis on Case of Use of Cluster Munitions in Yemen”, Journal of Public Law Research, Vol. 18, issue 51, pp. 109-135 (In Persian).
    2. Deilami Moezzi, Amin & Shoja’a, Morteza (2008), “America va Rahbord e Baznegary Dar Marzhaye Sarzamini Dar Khavarmianeh”, Political and Economic Ettelaat, Vol. 7, pp. 96-109 (In Persian).
    3. Faraji, Malihe (2017), “Human Rights Situation of Bahraini Women (Reviewing the Performance of its Government)”, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 3, issue 9, pp. 15-36 (In Persian).
    4. Ghasemi, Gholam Ali (2019), “Deprivation of Nationality of Nationals from Bahraini the Viewpoint of International Human Rights”, Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol. 49, issue 3, pp. 941-959 (In Persian).
    5. Habibzadeh, Tavakol (2006). “West Bank Separation Barrier According to International Law; An Introduction into the International Tribunal Counsel”, Religion and Communication, Vol. 12, issue 4, pp. 69-107 (In Persian).
    6. Haddady, Mahdi and Setayeshpur, Mohamad (2021). “Implication of Scope of International Derived Responsibility: Comparative Study of Responsibility of States and International Organizations”, Comparative Law Journal, Vol. 18, issue 1, pp. 1-24 (In Persian).
    7. Haddady, Mahdi and Setayrshpur, Mohamad (2017). “Scrutinizing the Necessity of Enunciation the Concept of “Derivative Responsibility” in Light of ILC works”, Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol. 47, issue 3, pp. 771-795 (In Persian).
    8. Mahkouii, Hojat; Sha’abani, Maryam & Abbasi, Alireza (2019), “An Analysis of Challenges for Shiites in Bahrain”, Journal of Zonal Planning, Vol. 9, issue 35, pp. 137-150 (In Persian).
    9. Mohammadi, Mehrdad (2014), “Breaching Human Rights in Bahrain: Norms of International Human Rights”, Journal of Legal Research, Vol. 12, issue 24, pp. 125-161 (In Persian).