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International Law

International Law

Sources of International Law and Their Implementation

July 2, 2018

What exactly is law, and how is international law conducted? Law is a set of commands, rules, and regulations that are set to govern a particular society. These commands should be communicated from one person to another to ensure that each and every person has a clear understanding. They are usually authoritative and are issued by an individual, body or an institution. International law on the other hand entails a set of commands widely accepted among nations to govern their activities e.g. international law on pollution that restrict certain acts among all nations that may lead to environmental pollution.

Sources of International law

Sources entail material and processes through which rules and regulations governing a specific society are developed. They have many factors that influence their development process ranging from political, social, and economical theories. These factors include:

1. The Statute of the International Court of Justice

According to article 38 of the statute that states that, the court should apply the following in deciding dispute-settling measures

– The international conventions that entails establishment of rules that are well recognized by all contesting states

– The international customs to represent the general practice and conduct usually accepted as law

– All general principles recognized by civilized nations

– The judicial decisions of qualified publicist of the various involved nations

2. Conventions and treaties

Treaties are agreement between two or more nations on particular procedures. They cover a wide scope of human life ranging from political, social, economic, and family issues. Signing of a treaty shows that the state accepts to comply with the treaties provision in good faith. They are usually voluntary undertaking which signify being bound to a commitment and creating reliance interest to related parties.

3. Customs as source of international law

They are accepted if; the behavior is widespread among states, practices are followed for an insignificant period, and if practitioners as required by law. They are many problems in deciding whether the customary law is widespread among states or has sufficient duration in time. This however requires that the application of customary law be tested to reconcile the universality of rights and obligations among states.

4. General principles of law

It is intended to incorporate the principles of law, which states that wrongs should have consequences, defendants, and claimants. They state that, whoever does wrong have the right to defend them. Therefore these principles are brought together to form a commonly accepted law.

 

International Law

How international law could help victims of environmental degradation

May 3, 2018

Something moved in the machineries of international law earlier this month. A turn in the lock, a small latch releasing a door. How big, how wide, remains to be seen. But nonetheless a landmark in progress towards meaningful protection of the environment.

On 7 February 2018, an international court in Costa Rica – the Inter-American court of human rights – released an advisory opinion on environment and human rights. It not only recognises the right to a healthy environment as fundamental to the existence of humanity, but also has the potential to unlock real cross-border remedies for the victims of environmental degradation.

It is not an isolated development. Earlier this month, the international court of justice issued its first ever order on compensation for environmental damage in a dispute between two countries, while in 2017 an investor-state tribunal made history by ordering a mining company to pay $39m to Ecuador for environmental clean-ups. But the advisory opinion could prove the most significant ruling yet.

In 2016, Colombia posed three big questions to the Inter-American court, which has jurisdiction over much of the Americas, roughly equivalent to the European court of human rights (ECHR) to which the UK belongs. If, Colombia asked, an individual living in Country A suffers a human rights violation caused by ecological damage emanating from Country B, can she hold Country B responsible under the American convention? Would Country B have breached the convention? And what are countries legally obliged to do in order to reduce such harms?

These are pressing concerns, not least in Colombia. At the hearing, Colombian Raizales delegates – English/Creole-speaking descendents of white British and enslaved Africans – spoke compellingly about the threats to the reefs on which their island culture depends. One looming concern appeared to be Nicaragua’s plan to build a Chinese-funded rival to the Panama Canal: scientists fear it would literally muddy Caribbean waters, killing marine life, creating chemical pollution and introducing invasive species from shipping lane bottlenecks. Colombia (already quarrelling with Nicaragua over maritime boundaries) sought answers from the court that would discourage unrestrained development of infrastructure mega-projects. But a sign that the ecological crisis transcends any one bilateral dispute is that other Latin American countries (Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Argentina) also supported cross-border obligations.

The conundrum of “extraterritorial” obligations bedevils human rights law. The crux of the problem is that the main conventions oblige states to ensure the human rights of people within their “jurisdiction”, without specifying what that means. Does “jurisdiction” mean the same as a state’s territory? If so, how should human rights law respond when states act abroad, or act so as to cause effects abroad?  The ECHR in Strasbourg, in a 2001 decision on Nato’s bombing of a broadcast station in Belgrade during the Kosovo conflict, decided that states’ “jurisdiction” goes no wider than territories over which they have “effective control”. In later cases, it quietly loosened the test and found jurisdiction based on a state’s assertion of authority over the individual victim. Similarly, the Inter-American system had already found claims admissible where one state’s military had killed or detained individuals outside its borders.

Even so, the advisory opinion represents a quantum leap in the breadth of “jurisdiction”. Here too, the concept of “effective control” is key. The court decided that, for transboundary damage, “the exercise of jurisdiction arises when the state of origin exercises effective control over the activities carried out that caused the harm and consequent violation of human rights”. This marks a subtle but important shift: “effective control” is no longer something that has to be exercised over territory, nor even over individual victims, but only over the activities responsible for harm. This is crucial, because states do exercise control over those activities likely to destroy fragile ecosystems in their near abroad: a country which decided to build a transnational canal, or license drilling in an offshore oil field, could not credibly claim that such activities were outside its effective control. Although the court cautioned that extraterritorial obligations are “exceptional”, its reshaping of “effective control” opens the door to cross-border human rights claims.

The implications of the court’s decision are likely to ripple well beyond the Americas. Cross-fertilisation among international judicial bodies is common: the opinion will stand as a marker when the Strasbourg court, sooner or later, has to do its own thinking on what “jurisdiction” means for transboundary environmental damage. Its core reasoning could be applied to air pollution, chemicals, even (doubtless controversially) climate change. It may also stimulate new thinking in arguments about international law’s (in)ability to regulate the activities of multinational corporations.

More immediately, it may first have to be applied to the very problems it was designed to discourage: mega-projects lacking any sincere environmental due diligence, dying reefs, the vulnerable Raizales people, and millions more like them. This ruling brings meaningful redress a major step closer.

International Law

International Law Firm – Services and Facilities

July 16, 2017

The international law firms are becoming more and more popular these days. In fact, the legal service sector has undergone significant developments in most the offshore jurisdictions due to the creation of the international law firms. These types of law firms offer numerous services and facilities. These include:

Asset Protection:

 

The international law firms help the offshore companies as well as individual to protect their assets from legal enemies. Almost all these firms have their offices in different locations for the convenience of their clients all over the world. These firms also ensure confidentiality of the information that you share and offer personalized solutions so as to meet your specific needs.
Moreover, these international law firms help you to protect your assets from the following legal threats:

o They can help you to protect your business and other assets from a negligence or injury claim exceeding your insurance coverage.

o You can protect your assets from frivolous lawsuits.

o They can even save you from any kind of lawsuits filed by your disgruntled employees or business partners.

Wealth Management:

These international law firms also manage your wealth on your behalf. They will plan your wealth management depending upon your specific needs and lifestyle. They will even help you to manage the funds in the offshore jurisdiction, which will significantly boost your savings. The international law firms can also help you to purchase property in any offshore jurisdiction. They help you in estate planning. In addition, you can even refer to an international law firm in case you are having any legal problem to inherit property or a large sum of money in any foreign country.

Debt Settlement:

You can even solve your offshore debt problems with the help of the international firms. It is indeed very hard to repay pressing debts while meeting all your family and personal requirements, during the time of financial hardship. The international law firms will help you to plan your debt repayment. In addition, they can settle your debt problems and deal with your legal enemies on your behalf.

Thereby, you can conveniently manage all your financial and legal proceedings with the help of these law firms. However, while hiring such international law firms you need to ensure certain factors. These include:

o Make sure that the lawyers of the particular firm have proper skills and prior experience in the field you are looking for.

o In addition, they need to have in depth knowledge and diversity of expertise about the laws of the particular offshore jurisdiction.

 

International Law

New Imperial Order or (Hegemonic) International Law?

May 27, 2017

Introduction

When, on the occasion of the Gulf War (1990-1991), the Soviet Union decided to cooperate with the US within the Security Council (SC), President George Bush said that he shared with Mijail Gorbachov the vision of “a world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle, a world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice, a world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.”

Twelve years afterwards, this vision has disappeared because the US has assumed an imperial tendency, rightly outlined by professor Zemanek in his introductory essay, above all when the right wing Republicans that already had the control of the Congress (1996) conquered the Presidency through courts (2000). It suffices to read the declaration of principles of the New American Century Project (June 1997) and to take account of its signatories to realize that the Iraq intervention was part of American planned policies shaped by people that constitute the core of the current Administration, even before the S-11 crimes offered the occasion of putting them in practice.

Although before this date the US foreign policy showed signs of unilateralism, afterwards the Bush Administration has decided to impose a New World Order that turns around the American security and that is based on the American military supremacy and its readiness to use force. Diplomacy and international institutions mainly work for intervention and war rather than for peaceful dispute settlement and cooperation. The outcome is profoundly regressive.

Leadership, Hegemony, Empire

Nobody questions that the world needs leadership and that only the US can offer it. However, the George W. Bush Administration does not bet on leadership, but on hegemony; even on the consecration of an Imperial order that denies sovereignty and sovereign equality with all its consequences. We should be “unashamed, unapologetic, uncompromising American constitutional hegemonists”, wrote John Bolton.

Among the symptoms that shows transition to the one (the emptiness or manipulation of norms in force by reason of hegemonic practices) or the other (a New Imperial Order) one can mention the current of opinion that denies that treaties are sources of legal obligations, that consistently rejects their direct effect or that subordinates their direct effect to domestic rules; the exclusion of judicial review of government acts beyond the American territory; the efforts to bring to deadlock the Draft articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts, approved by the ILC; the fact that Congress Acts are put above the UN Charter and the denial that only the UN Charter can legitimate the use of force, with the exception of the right of self-defence; or the affirmation that there is no UN competence to review the US decisions on foreign policy and national security.

The increasing manifestations of legislative and judicial imperialism are also symptomatic: Acts that authorise the use of force abroad to arrest-even to annul if necessary it be-people that are requested by federal justice or that are considered terrorists; the replacement of diplomacy by systematic use of retorsion and (armed) reprisals; the irresistible tendency to replace norms and institutions by non-legal (political) compromises; the invocation of religious freedom to introduce by force a manipulating and reactionary thought etc.

Besides, the US gathers too many noes to multilateral cooperation that their closest European allies have not only supported but sponsored. The US has said no to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, no to the Verification Protocol to The Biological Weapons Convention, no to the Land Mines Convention, no to the Kyoto Protocol; no to the ICC Statute (this is, in addition, a target of their hostile activity) etc. As noted by Zemanek, this may appear to other States as “a manifestation of poor community spirit” with “ominous implications” on the overall process of international law-making and the achievement of the purposes of the regulation.

 

International Law

Why Do Nations Obey International Law?

March 3, 2017

Neither interest nor identity theory fully account for the normative transnational legal process. Participation in the transnational legal process helps constitute the identity of the state is one that obeys the law, but what is critical is the interaction, not the label that purports to identify a state as liberal or not. In part, act as obey international law as a result of repeated interaction with other governmental and non-governmental actors in the international system. Estates violation of law creates inevitable frictions and contradictions that hinder its ongoing participation within a transnational legal process. When a developing nation defaults on the sovereign debt, connectivity impairs its ability to secure new lending. The nation’s leaders may shift over time for a policy violation of international law to one of compliance to avoid such frictions in its continuing relations.

As transnational actors interact, they create patterns of behaviour and generate norms of external conduct which they in turn internalise. Law-abiding states internalise international law by incorporating it into their domestic legal and political structures, executive action, legislation, and judicial decisions which take account of any corporate international norms. Nations also reacts to other states reputations as law-abiding or not. Legal ideologies prevail among domestic decision-makers such that they are affected by perceptions that their actions are unlawful, or that domestic opponents or other nations in the global regime also categorise them. Moreover, domestic decision-making becomes enmeshed with international legal norms, as institutional arrangements with the making and maintenance of an international commitment become entrenched in domestic legal and political processes. It is through this repeated process of interaction and internalisation of international law requires its stickiness as it is known, that nation states acquire their identity, and that nations to find promoting the rule of international law as part of a national self-interest. It is important to understand that although at times international law seems a weak, the reality is that nations use the rhetoric of international law for their own purposes at any particular time to justify their political position.

 

International Law

Understanding Private And Public International Law

January 15, 2017

Private international law is a sector of international law that oversees all legal entanglements that involve foreign law elements. Private international law is also referred to as conflict of laws, as international law usually trumps federal or national laws if there is conflict and the countries in question have signed an agreement to submit to an international ruling.

Private international law determines, if there is a conflict of laws, who has jurisdiction over the specific case and which laws are to be applied by the country that is given jurisdictional rights.

 

This type of law has been practiced by ages, and was first implemented by the Romans, who established a tribunal to reside over cases brought by foreign states that had a conflict of laws with regards to a criminal, etc. the Roman courts might decide to apply the law of one nation over both Roman law and the other nation.

Thus, private international law is largely used to settle disputes between foreign countries; however, awarding a case to one may mean a backlash from the other. Because of this, international rulings often take into consideration the reality of the situation with regards to international law, and may come to a decision that both countries legal factors are okay with.

In contrast to private international law, public international law is not concerned with conflict of laws; it is concerned with the configuration and conduct of states, international organizations and sometimes commercial industry, like a multinational corporation.

 

Also called the ‘law of nations,’ international law deals with the possession of territory, the immunity of the state and its legal responsibility in regards to its conduct with other states. It also deals with the behavior towards citizens and non-citizens within the confines of the state. This includes rights of aliens, groups, refugees, human rights violations, crimes committed internationally, applications and problems concerning nationality, and much more.

International law attempts to maintain good relations and international peace, avoid any armed conflicts where possible, maintain arms control, concerns itself with environmental issues, communications and space technology; in essence, it simply deals with every aspect of law on an international scale, from wars to the environment and everything in between.