International Law

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Christopher Greenwood four categories:

What can any system of law realistically achieve? 1. Everyone is pursuing self-interests – states but also corporations, inviduals, organisations. 2. The making of law is always very political. But politicisations of law is wrong if it infiltrates the adjudication of law . 3. No legal system can be better than the society it serves – the stronger and cohesive a society the better the legal system - e.g. a stable political system, legal institutions. Law must be in tune with the “general current” of that society. (prohibition did not work in the US, but the breakdown of segregation in the US south did, desegregation judicial decisions led to legislation that Congress passed). Law alone cannot produce change – it is in tandem, incrementally with societal values.

International law, and international society. IS is not like US, Japanese society etc. but it does exist. - no legislature that can pass a stature enforceable on all. - There is an element of chaos; each treaty is negotiated irrespective of other developments. - No system of compulsion of international law. - Problem of enforcement - Competing legitimacies



The body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized as international actors. The term was coined by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832).

Wide interpretation :

General ; ; ; ;

News and blogs ;

Organisations ; The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide ; Coalition for International Justice devoted to war-crimes tribunals in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda ; International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development includes publications on Women's Rights in Situations of Conflict ; African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR), an independent African body which was established by the OAU in 1981 and is mandated to protect and promote human and people's rights as well as for the interpretation of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights. The 45th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR is in Banjul on 13-27 May 2009. Special Rapporteur Mr. Reine Alapini-Gansou, condemned the expulsion of the 13 International NGOs and 3 National NGOs from Darfur. The Special Reporter highlighted that such actions constitute a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law, and an abrogation by Sudan of its obligations under international law. Taking a tougher stance than the AU PSC.

The body of international law Constituted by customary law, treaties, and human rights law

Rethinking the role of international law

Private International Law

International Economic Law

International trade law. WTO. Disputes.

European Union Law

Public International law

International Dispute Resolution

Nature and cause of disputes. Obligation to settle disputes peacefully. Non-adjudicatory methods : negotiation and consultation. Inquiry and Fact finding. Good offices, mediation. The role of law, advisory opinions. Peace processes. conciliation and arbistration. Law of the sea and inter-state arbitration.

International law of self-determination

Protection of Refugees, Migrants, and IDPs

Protection always happens. (analogy with a cat put in a corner and one sprays water over it.. it will protect itself, sometimes violently). Interventions to make sure it happens in the right way.

Link to micro-finance, cash-grants etc. Cash-grants could have negative impact (aid-dependency) but also positive (repaying loans and continue economic activities e.g. in Gaza Actionaid).

Look at communities not as victims but as active agents.

International Protection

Community-based protection

A way to maintain dignity. - empowers the communities -communities should identify themselves protection problems -identifies and strengthens local protection strategies. International community support professional capacities.

1.Protection mainstreaming (as a minimum do no harm) 2.Protection integration (activitiley incorporating safety security, dignity in programming) 3.Standalone programming (e.g. violence against women)

Caveat : communities not homogenous, those who speak louder get attention, oppressive structures perpetuated. Do not romantisise communities.

International Human Rights Law

International protection of HR

International Council on Human Rights Policy : with project on links Human Rights and Corruption.

Human Rights and International Human Rights Law IHRL is a body of treaties, declarations and covenants that define the universal, interdependent and indivisible entitlements of individuals, and obligations of primarily states to upholding those rights. The instruments include Human Rights quarterly ; Som Maciej Zaremba har uttryckt saken: ”De mänskliga rättigheterna, har någon sagt, är en civil religion som äger kraft att förena människor med högst olika bakgrund till goda medborgare.” ;

International Law of Armed Conflict

Deals with question of what is war, purpose of the laws of war, regulations on means and conduct of war, decisionmaking in war, protected persons, protected property, occupation, role of international organisations, concept of neutrality, ending war. Collective security. Self-defence. Intervention to protect nationals, Democratic intervention. humanitarian intervention. Ius in Bello Ius ad Bellum. IHL vs. Human rights. War crimes vs. breach of laws of war.

Conflict or overlap with IHL.

Conflict or overlap with HRL : Rules of War : Realm of force governed by warriors’ honour and tempered by humanitarianism LOAC , IHL ; Rules of Peace : Civil comity governed by rule of law and respect for HR and civil rights

Question of definition of what is armed conflict, violence, non-international armed conflict has bearing on which body of rules will apply. Cf. for instance Additional Protocol AP 1 to 4 GC with focus on non-international armed conflict; and AP 2 1977 to 4 GC – focus on non-international armed conflict. More restricted than common art 3 in 4 GC as it is only applied when the non-state actor has territorial control (so not applied when there is chaotic situation etc.). Does also not apply of internal disturbances and tensions.

International Humanitarian law

IHL is a set of rules, codified in legal instruments or expressed in customary norms, that seek to restrict the means and methods and effects of armed conflict for humanitarian reasons. Treaty based IHL include the Hague Conventions 1899 & 1907 , the four Geneva Conventions 1949 , the the two Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. These are all based on agreements between states.

IHL and Humanitarian Protection? ; The importance of whether a situation constitutes an armed conflict within the meaning of IHL and implications for humanitarian protection? ; Principled approaches to humanitarian protection also in violence falling short of armed conflict? ;

Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles, Conflict Conduct and obligations under IHL, changes? ; How does the analysis change in a human rights framework? ; Fact-finding mission examining allegations of IHL violations. Changes with growth of ICL? ; Protection of Children in armed conflict ; Cf. UNSCR 1612 and its monitoring and reporting mechanism and expansion in UNSCR 1882 ; IHRL vs HRL: are they complementary in modern armed conflicts? ;


International Criminal Law

ICL is derived fom general principles of international law, agreements between States on particular aspects of criminal activity, and criminal law commonly recognised by States. Treaty-based ICL includ the Rome statute, the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, and The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. ; ; ;

Criminal Tribunals and Special Courts

International Court of Arbitration

Transitional Justice

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