Showing posts from May, 2020

“The ICJ is not truly a court. While its judgments may technically be enforceable, no State expects enforcement to actually happen. It is, instead, best understood as a forum for the mediation of State-State disputes.” Critically discuss.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the central judicial organ of the United Nations. Besides advising authorised international organizations, UN General Assembly on international law, it also serves as a judicial forum for inter-state disputes. It is to be noted that ICJ is fundamentally different from national courts in many respects due to the sui generis nature of international law itself.  Notably, the ICJ has no compulsory jurisdiction in disputes between the States. The jurisdiction of ICJ is based on the consent of the States, either by special agreement [1] , or by way of a specific treaty which may incorporate a mechanism for the referral of cases to the ICJ. States may accept compulsory jurisdiction by making a declaration under Article 36(2) of ICJ statute. [2] Typically, the Court may entertain two types of cases: legal disputes between States submitted to it by them (which is referred to as contentious cases) and requests for advisory opinions on legal qu

Critically discuss, with reference to the international conventions and domestic laws addressed in class or in the assigned readings, how the United Nations Convention Against Corruption has improved on previous approaches to the regulation of international corruption, and how might it nonetheless still itself be improved.

There have been many domestic laws and international conventions which have had the objective of regulating international corruption. Many have met with limited success and have suffered from similar shortcomings. The United Nations brought into force the Convention against Corruption in 2005 with the aim of addressing these shortcomings. The UNCAC’s new approach is overall a step in the right direction, but there is still much room for improvement in this area. Corruption was defined by the IMF in 2011 as the abuse of public authority or trust for private benefit. In the context of international trade and business, corruption often takes the form of payments by corporations to persons in authority in order that they exercise their discretion in their favour. Regulation initially had a narrow definition of corruption and focused primarily on bribery, and the regulation was very soft and lacked bite. An example of a domestic law of this type is the USA’s Foreign Co

The criticisms of the ILO’s adoption of the “Core Labour Standards” made by Philip Alston. What are Alston's criticisms, and how would you defend the ILO against them?

Introduction The International Labour Organisation is the international forum for debates regarding labour issues. [1] Labour standards are not an abstract or academic problem that the market can deal with without any requirement of regulatory intervention; in fact, one could argue that the market can exaggerate the problems. This is evidenced by the argument that wholesale poor labour conditions within a country can give that country an unfair advantage within the global market, providing an incentive for the said company to reduce its labour conditions to make way for greater profits, eventually pressuring those countries with strong conditions to reduce them in order to remain competitive. [2] Amongst divided opinion, there was a concern by some that countries with high standards could use the “poor labour conditions” defence to invoke tariffs against more competitive countries; clearly a set of international standards was needed in order to address potential imbalances, cue