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  • Author: Pasquale De Sena, Maria Chiara Vitucci
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The recent case law of various international tribunals facing questions related to UN Security Council resolutions shows the clear tendency to grant primacy to the UN legal order. This trend, far from being well founded on formal arguments, appears to be a tribute to a legal order perceived as superior, and, at the same time, is revealing of the 'value oriented' approach followed by the courts. Such an approach can be categorized from a theoretical perspective in the light of Scelle's theory of relations between legal orders, whereby the courts implement in their respective legal orders values stemming from the UN legal order. Various critical remarks can be advanced in relation to this attitude. Basically, when different legal values are at stake, the need arises to strike a balance between them, as the ECJ has recently done in the appeal decision in the Yusuf and Kadi cases. Such a tendency, if consistently followed, could serve as a valuable instrument to find the correct equilibrium between the security interest and the need for respect of human rights.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ana Filipa Vrdoljak
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: 2008 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention and Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. These two instruments adopted and proclaimed by the then newly formed world body on successive days, 9 and 10 December 1948 respectively, represent two sides of one coin. Born of the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s, the United Nations Charter speaks of human rights and to the importance of the rule of law. The Genocide Convention and UDHR are integral to the pursuit of these aims. The work of two international lawyers, Hersch Lauterpacht and Raphael Lemkin, whose personal and familial histories traverse the tragedies of 20th century Europe, was instrumental in the realization of these twin efforts. This article examines their respective contributions to contemporary international law by concentrating on their European experience from their youth in Central Europe and the early days of the League of Nations to their mature work up to and including the Nuremberg Judgment. Important events – whether serious, happy or unfortunate – do not change a man's soul, they merely bring it into relief, just as a strong gust of wind reveals the true shape of a tree when it blows off all its leaves. Such events highlight what is hidden in the shadows; they nudge the spirit towards a place where it can flourish.
  • Topic: International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kjetil Mujezinovic Larsen
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article addresses the issue of whether conduct in international peace operations is attributable to the troop contributing states or to the United Nations, taking the European Court of Human Rights' admissibility decision in the Behrami and Saramati cases as a point of reference. The Court concluded that conduct by UNMIK and KFOR troops in Kosovo is attributable to the United Nations. The article examines the content of the 'ultimate authority and control' test that is applied by the Court, and argues that the Court should have taken a different approach. The Court's test is in the author's view difficult to reconcile with the International Law Commission's work on the responsibility of international organizations, with United Nations practice on responsibility for unlawful conduct in peace operations, and with the Court's own jurisprudence concerning attribution of conduct to the state. The author argues further that the Court's arguments are incomplete even if the Court's approach were to be considered correct. The article concludes by expressing concern that the Court's decision, when seen in connection with previous case law, in practice renders the European Convention on Human Rights irrelevant in international peace operations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe