The article offers a critical look at the complex relationship between the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and policy-supportive (scientific) evidence. In particular, due to now commonplace, evidence-based policy-making of national governments, the Court is effectively supplemented with various statistics and studies and tasked with reviewing policy measures aiming to improve the public good. This article investigates the ECtHR’s use and interpretation of policy-supportive evidence in the proportionality analysis, and how this affects the margin of appreciation. The recent case of Dubská and Krejzová concerning the ban on home births, which the article explores in detail, is illustrative in this regard. Although the Court appears to review scientific evidence substantively, an increased proliferation of statistics and studies may bring about controversy in relation to legal cases, without having a conclusive impact upon the outcome of a dispute.
This article explores the ‘practice’ of the International Monetary Fund (‘imf’) by focusing on the organization’s approach to recognition of governments. After analysing this approach in some detail, it surveys the organization’s practice from three perspectives. First, it identifies the different functions of practice within the imf’s legal system, including the imf’s treaty. Second, the article reviews how the practice of the imf relates to key conceptions of practice under international law: (i) as part of international custom; (ii) under articles 31(3)(b) and 32 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties; and (iii) as a ‘rule of the organization’. Finally, the article compares ‘practice’ under the imf treaty and a national legal system by considering how the United States’ Supreme Court has interpreted the power to recognise governments under the USConstitution.
This contribution examines the legal merit of the Decision Addressing the Treat from Chemical Weapons, adopted by the 89th Session of the General Conference of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (‘opcw’) on 27 July 2018. While relating to matters of high political importance, this Decision still raises important issues of the constitutionality of international organizations’ use of their delegated powers. This contribution pursues the detail of this matter, by focusing, among others, on the scope of the opcw’s authority under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the relationship between the opcw and the United Nations.
In contemporary debates on the authority of global institutions, there is an important yet often overlooked organisational curiosity: namely, the International Seabed Authority (‘ISA’). The ISA reflects a highpoint in international communitarian governance. Premised around traditional notions of access, control and allocation of deep seabed resources, its mandate is both invariably spatial-temporal, and yet also limited and functional. Its purpose is to govern the extraction of seabed mineral resources for the collective benefit of the international community. To achieve that ambition, however, a highly complex and bureaucratic regulatory structure has been established. In this paper we aim to consider this tension in the mandate of the ISA, particularly insofar as it manifests in aspects of its institutional design and functioning in practice. Recognising these dynamics not only helps one better understand governance of the deep seabed, but also broadly demonstrates the innate tensions in granting institutional control over common spaces.
The EU treaties allow the Union legislature to establish specialised courts within the institution of the Court of Justice. This possibility was inserted by the Treaty of Nice, and by 2005, the Union’s first and only specialised court to date was established—the Civil Service Tribunal (‘CST’). The judicial architecture of the Union has undergone transformative changes in recent years, and as part of the reforms, the CST was abolished in 2016, marking an abrupt end to the Union’s brief use of specialised courts. This article offers an interim post-mortem of specialised courts, examining the Union’s experimentalism with a three-tier judicial institution by focusing on two unique features. Firstly, the role of judges at specialised courts; and secondly, the review procedure that may be undertaken by the Court of Justice. The article contemplates the future of specialised courts, drawing some constitutional lessons that can be learnt from this brief experiment.
Treaty organs constitute a new system of international cooperation. The lack of definition and regulation for these new entities and their particularities deserves in-depth analysis due to its proliferation, especially in the area of international environmental law. This article will analyse the establishment of treaty organs and will seek a definition that allows them to be differentiated from international organizations. It will give attention to the concept of a set of organs and legal personality to determine the differences between international organizations and treaty organs. Finally, the possible application of international institutional law to treaty organs will be studied.
The Right to Appeal in International Criminal Law Dražan Djukić describes appeal proceedings in international criminal law and evaluates them against human rights benchmarks. While international criminal courts and tribunals mainly comply with these benchmarks, they have fallen short in certain important areas.
Despite their importance to the legal process, appeal proceedings tend to receive limited attention. On the basis of benchmarks arising from international human rights law, Dražan Djukić systematically assesses the law and practice concerning appeal proceedings in international criminal law.
Recent decisions of European and national courts, as well as those of arbitral tribunals, concerning the Achmea saga seem to be plentiful enough to draw preliminary conclusions as to the relationship between EU law, intra-EU international investment agreements (IIAs) and the national laws of EU-Member States. In order to get the proper picture of the situation, however, it is necessary not only to analyse the recent decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and their consequences from these three perspectives, but, equally, to understand how they interact with each other. Such an analysis indicates the real possibility of the emergence of a rift between the practice of the EU and national courts rejecting the validity of investment arbitration agreements, on the one hand, and investment tribunals, on the other. In any case, such a divergence would put into question the IIAs’ claim to provide a stable regulatory framework for international investments in the EU, which, in turn, would strengthen the argument for termination of intra-EU IIAs.
This article deals with the ethical implications of arbitrator resignations. When an arbitrator resigns it can severely disrupt proceedings. Arbitrators have a positive duty to complete the mandate for which they have been appointed, and a corollary duty not to resign without justification. This article considers steps that can be taken at the outset of proceedings to minimise the likelihood of resignation. It then discusses ethical dilemmas associated with five common circumstances that can arise during the course of arbitral proceedings which might justify resignation. The article then recalls rare but disturbing instances when a resignation itself may be ethically dubious and sets out measures available to discourage such conduct. Ethical issues connected with resignation have traditionally been given less prominence than discussion of conflicts and challenges, but should not be overlooked in any new endeavors aimed at developing a code of conduct for international arbitration.