The United Nations International Law Commission occasionally deals with the law relating to international organizations. A well-known example is its work in preparation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations of 1986. It is less well-known, but perhaps more important for the practice of international organizations, that the Commission has in recent years also addressed other relevant issues in this field. Those include the responsibility of international organizations (2011), the role which the practice of international organizations may play in the interpretation of their constituent instruments (2018) and in the formation of customary international law (2018), as well as considerations on whether the topic ‘Settlement of disputes to which international organizations are parties’ (2016) should be put on its agenda. This chapter reflects the 2018 aiib Law Lecture, summarizing the work of the Commission on these aspects of the law of international organizations and engages in some general reflections.
This submission challenges the presumption that uk nationals will lose eu citizenship following Brexit. Until now, the dominant narrative has been drawn from the law on treaties or international organizations, and this article adds the human rights perspective to Brexit. Firstly, eu citizenship can be assimilated to nationality. While eu citizenship is unique, the status protected under international law is a legal bond a person has with a political entity. This protection certainly covers nationality, and this paper argues it can be understood to also protect eu citizenship. Secondly, international law prohibits arbitrary withdrawal of this legal bond with a person. The uk does not have jurisdiction over eu citizenship, so it is doubtful the uk can terminate eu citizenship unilaterally. Even if the eu were to withdraw eu citizenship on its initiative, it would still constitute retroactive law, discrimination, and infringement of sovereignty. It is also disproportionate, because the loss of eu citizenship is not necessary for Brexit. When Greenland withdrew from the eu, its residents retained eu citizenship. For these reasons, the revocation of eu citizenship would be arbitrary. A distinction must be made between the membership of a state in the eu which can be terminated, and the direct legal bond formed between a person and the Union, which is far harder to revoke. On this basis, any uk national who has acquired eu citizenship prior to Brexit, should not be divested of it following Brexit.
This article assesses the BRICS’ position on the emerging global norm of the Responsibility to Protect, analyses the year 2011, when all the BRICS occupied a seat on the UN Security Council, and asks how the rise of the BRICS will affect R2P’s prospects of turning into a global norm. It argues that while it is generally thought that ‘non-Western’ emerging powers are reluctant to embrace R2P, rising powers’ views on the norm in question are far more nuanced. Common accusations depicting the BRICS as ‘irresponsible stakeholders’ are misguided, as emerging powers have supported R2P in the vast majority of cases. The BRICS are in fundamental agreement about the principle that undergirds R2P, and their support for R2P’s pillar I and II is absolute. Regarding pillar III, the BRICS at times diverge from Western countries not about the existence of the norm, but about when and how to apply it.
This paper advances the notion of civil non-state actors in peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Using Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire as cases studies, the paper identifies three kinds of civil non-state actors in war-torn countries: international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based NGOs, and ad hoc community organizations. In addition, it argues that civil non-state actors play a critical problem-solving role in peacekeeping and peacebuilding and complement the role of state actors. The paper examines the role of civil non-state actors through their dialectical affinity with state actors in the peacekeeping and peacebuilding processes. It further expands the notion of non-state actors in peacekeeping and peacebuilding to encompass community-based NGOs and ad hoc community organizations. Moreover, it points to the positive role of civil non-state actors and the wide range of activities they perform, especially in peace mediation and post-war reconstruction.
This article considers the approach for determining whether a dispute concerns the “interpretation or application” of a particular treaty, such that it is within the subject-matter jurisdiction of an international court or tribunal. Specifically, the article considers what approach should be taken when claims are presented as concerning the “interpretation or application” of a particular treaty, but involve central issues under rules of international law found outside the treaty in question. The specific argument made in this article is that the approach used in some recent decisions, involving characterising where the “relative weight” of a dispute lies and the “true object” of claims, should not be followed.
This chapter positions commercial dispute resolution as a major enabler of economic development. Going one step further, it argues that commercial dispute resolution also makes for good ‘lighthouse’ judicial reform projects, due to its focused scope and the quick impact potential in an area where competition between countries requires urgent action. Success requires a comprehensive approach around five building blocks: the legal basis; organisational and physical setup; people excellence; communications; and overall strategy and change management. In its second half, the chapter moves from today to setting out four hypotheses for the future: Firstly, courts of the future will be a service rather than a location, with courtrooms of the future being virtual and customer centric providers capturing the market. Second, commercial dispute resolution will become far more differentiated, as well as competitive on the international stage. Third, private sector solutions will complement and compete with state-offered or endorsed solutions. Fourth, artificial intelligence is about to change the face and nature of dispute resolution fundamentally. Each of those trends offers ample opportunities to unlock economic potential. The chapter concludes by pointing out how international organizations can contribute.