International investment is one of the fields of global governance that is likely to be affected by China’s rise as a global superpower in general, and its rise as a global investor in particular. It has become manifest by China’s leadership in forming of the G20 Guiding Principles for Global Investment Policymaking and in establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while signaling the country’s growing capacity to influence global investment governance. However, China’s aspiration to steer global investment governance is being hindered by the increased backlash against globalisation and the investment treaty regime, as well as the rapid growth of Chinese investments. At the same time that protectionist measures aimed at Chinese investments are on the rise, the Belt and Road Initiative is underway, which will increase Chinese desire to safeguard the interests of Chinese investors. Consequently, it is possible that a Beijing-based pole in global investment governance could emerge, just as reforms are underway to address the legitimacy crisis in the regime.
As the European Union (EU) pursues bilateral trade agreements with third states, the EU should be cognizant of the potential ‘extraterritorial’ impacts of these agreements on the enjoyment of human rights in third states when designing and concluding bilateral trade agreements with third states. This article develops a jurisdictional model to determine the geographic scope of EU human rights obligations in the context of the adoption of EU bilateral trade agreements. It is submitted that the doctrine’s classic semantic focus on ‘extraterritoriality’, captured by such constructs as control, impact, or functional competence, clouds rather than illuminates matters of scope of human rights obligations in the context of trade agreements. Instead of looking for justifications for the extraterritorial application of human rights, it is suggested to turn the justificatory gaze to the internal territorial aspects of the human rights risks created by EU decisions on the conclusion of bilateral trade agreements. An internal-territorial model obviates the need for an elaborate conceptualization of ‘extraterritorial’ obligations.
Throughout the 20th century, the International Labour Organization (‘ILO’) has played a significant and successful role in the international advancement of social justice. However, in the past 10–15 years the impact of the organization has decreased. Its legislative machinery seems to have come to a standstill. Hardly any influential modern legal instruments have been developed in these years. The ILO’s monitoring system via the Committee of Experts is in danger to be weakened, mainly due to questions from within the organization. The boat that passed by flying the corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) flag, has been missed. A powerful and unanimous signal, for instance by adopting a Framework Convention on Decent Work, is necessary if the organization is to survive in the 21st century.
Since their emergence after World War II, multilateral development banks (MDBs, or Banks) have become crucial players in promoting economic development in the developing world. The theory of immunity enables the MDBs to shield themselves from jurisdictions of national courts, and protects them in Bank operations. This paper presents a critique of the immunity claimed by MDBs, and argues that such a claim of immunity should be restrictive, rather than absolute. Meanwhile, it is important to establish adequate dispute settlement systems within the MDBs, counterbalancing their immunities from legal process. The systems offer a fair trial to private parties, and should be independent from Bank management. As for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the young Bank’s operations can be on the ground only with its immunities respected by members, while the committed high standards are possible only with adequate internal dispute settlement systems.
In the nineteenth century, classical liberalism originated from Britain. Nearly all the countries across the globe had benefited from the liberal international economic order (LIEO) under the Pax Britannia. However, the United States has never taken in classical liberalism. Rather, it regards international trade as a “zero sum game” and upholds “fair trade” through the international institution of WTO/GATT. From the British free trade to the U.S. fair trade, from the WTO to the fragmented PTAs, and from free trade to protectionism, classical liberalism has been gradually fading away. The higher standards on the various non-tariff issues in the TPP have reached a new altitude against classical liberalism. In face of the high-standard trade rules in the 21st century, China should not follow them recklessly but give due consideration to the status quo of its economic development when negotiating FTAs in the future.
The standard of civilization is haunting international legal studies. The problem remains whether the non-Western traditions are legitimate sources for international governance. Although legal scholars sometimes approach international law from different perspectives or from a particular experience, at last, they are still writing about one international law that are supposed to apply to all nation-states without differentiation. The future outlook of international law partly depends on if there are real and lasting Asian intellectual connections with international law and whether the Asian inspirations could find their expression in the existing international legal framework. After exploring the existing discourse on China’s reception of international law in the nineteenth century, the paper suggests that Qing China’s statesmen had a vision for co-existence of international legal system and the China oriented tributary system.
This paper challenges the scholarly tendency of imposing democratic norms on non-governmental organisations (ngos). For decades there has been a strong debate among International Relations and International Law scholars on the question of whether or not ngos contribute to the democratic legitimacy of international law. Notwithstanding different arguments, both critics of and adherents seem to be primarily occupied with theorising and criticising the internal democratic legitimacy of ngos. In this article I question whether this is justifiable. Imposed democratic norms conflict with the inherent unpredictable character of ngos. Whereas the unpredictability of ngos in terms of form and content is often perceived as unreliable, it characterises their essential voluntariness, which can be considered their main contribution to democracy.
Although migration is a transnational phenomenon involving a plurality of states, the state of departure is often unwilling/unable to offer protection. Receiving/transit states can refrain from engaging with the problem until migrants have already entered their territory. With high seas, this can result in the deaths of people taking the risk of travelling to a new place. The article argues that states have a duty to offer (some) protection even when migrants are not in their territory, based on human rights’ positive effect and the principle of due diligence. Because of the transnational nature of migration, all involved states have the responsibility to offer protection. This may lead to concurrent state liability for failure to protect. The duty to protect may extend to the high seas, even when the traditional links for the establishment of jurisdiction are absent. The duty is not unlimited, it needs to prevail over other considerations.