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  • Author: Daniel Muller
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Time is an important element in the process of reservations to treaties and, consequently, in the legal regime established by the Vienna Conventions for reservations and reactions thereto. The very definition of reservations, embodied in Article 2(1)(d) of the 1969 and 1986 Vienna Conventions, as well as in Article 2(1)(j) of the 1978 Vienna Convention, and incorporated in the definition adopted by the International Law Commission in its Guide to Practice, includes precise indications and limits concerning the moment in time for a reservation to be formulated. In practice, however, reservations have been made before and after this peculiar moment. The work of the International Law Commission has shown that these are still reservations, even if they are not contemplated by the Vienna regime. But they can nevertheless deploy their purported effects under some additional conditions. The same holds true with regard to objections to reservations which can be formulated prematurely or late. They are still objections even if their concrete legal effects may be affected. Whereas time is important for the legal consequences attached to reservations and reactions thereto, it plays a less important role in the overall process of reservations dialogue.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Ineta Ziemele, Lasma Liede
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article addresses the issue of reservations to human rights treaties in the light of the work done by the International Law Commission and its Special Rapporteur, Mr Alain Pellet. Section 1 gives a short historical background for the topic. Section 2 provides a concise overview of the variety of arguments that have been raised in the debate on the character of human rights treaties and the permissibility of reservations to those treaties, as well as their relationship with the reservations regime established under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Section 3 gives a number of specific examples of reservations permitted under the human rights treaties and describes the approach taken by some human rights treaty bodies in that respect. It also depicts the manner in which some of these bodies have dealt with the intricate issue of the consequences of impermissible reservations. Section 4 analyses the guidelines adopted by the ILC and offers some reflection on their contribution to the development of international treaty law on this topic. Section 5 concludes by praising the comprehensive work of the ILC on the subject.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Christian Djeffal
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Commentaries on international law abound and proliferate. To reflect upon this trend in international legal scholarship, three commentaries on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties are reviewed. They are compared with regard to the ways in which they deal with three pertinent issues in the law of treaties: the ascertainment of jus cogens norms, the notion of object and purpose and grounds of invalidity, termination, and suspension. As a scholarly genre, commentaries form part of the legal culture of legal systems. So the review discusses their function in the past, in the present, and in their possible future. Their roots lie in the schools working on Roman law in the Middle Ages. They gained importance for international legal scholarship when international law entered the process of codification. Today, commentaries fulfil several functions in international legal discourse, the most important of which is that they structure this discourse. Digitization will seriously impact on all fields of scholarly publishing. The review concludes by discussing the possible changes in this scholarly genre. Those are accessibility, layout, referencing, inclusion of other media, and the possibility of enhanced discourse within the commentary.
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Tim Staal
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In the words of editor Duncan Hollis, The Oxford Guide to Treaties 'is a big book' (at vii). Yet, it is relatively small and accessible considering its ambition to 'explore treaty questions from theoretical, doctrinal, and practical perspectives'.
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Michael Waibel
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Despite its codification by the Vienna Convention more than 40 years ago, treaty interpretation in international law continues to evolve as its function of providing predictability in international relations remains as important as ever. The voluminous recent literature testifies to the continuing scholarly interest in interpretation, even if sometimes at the cost of over-theorizing. This essay reviews six books that seek to demystify the art of treaty interpretation. Written by European scholars, the books take a fresh look at interpretation but differ in their approaches and scope of analyses. While all six authors study the interpretive practice of international courts and tribunals, Gardiner, Linderfalk and Van Damme focus on treaty interpretation; Fernández de Casadevante Romani, Kolb and Orakhelashvili also examine the interpretation of decisions by international organizations, unilateral acts and customary international law. Kolb and Orakhelashvili opt for a comprehensive, theoretically-grounded approach, whereas Van Damme focuses on the interpretative practice of the WTO Appellate Body. On the strength of her perceptive and nuanced analysis of WTO jurisprudence, the book is the best guide among the six to interpretation in international law generally. In addition to Van Damme's work, the practitioner will also find Gardiner's book particularly useful.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Vienna
  • Author: Leena Grover
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article seeks to initiate a dialogue within international criminal law (ICL) on treaty interpretation. The state of the art is reviewed and three fundamental interpretive dilemmas are identified and analysed. In the author's view, these dilemmas need to be addressed before a method of interpretation for crimes in Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court can be formulated and operationalized. The 'normative dilemma' highlights how the normative tensions underlying ICL might be perpetuated by the interpretive imperatives in Articles 21(3) and 22(2) of the Rome Statute. The 'interpretive aids dilemma' concerns the respective roles of the Elements of Crimes and custom as aids to interpreting crimes in the Rome Statute. The 'inter-temporal dilemma' pertains to whether these crimes are 'frozen' or are to be interpreted in light of relevant and applicable legal developments. Throughout, the aforementioned dilemmas are grafted onto Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to illustrate that they are, at their core, universal problems of interpretation.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Vienna
  • Author: Lucas Lixinski
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The article examines the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in several areas of adjudication which initially did not fall under the instrument, such as environmental rights, international humanitarian law, and investors' rights. In all these areas, the Court has used instruments 'foreign' to the Inter-American system as a means to expand the content of rights in the American Convention. As a result, the umbrella of protection of this instrument, and the reach of the Court, is far greater than originally envisaged. After analysing the specific provision on interpretation of the American Convention on Human Rights as compared to the equivalent mechanisms in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the article analyses several case studies of expansionism in the case law of the Court, asking throughout the analysis the question whether this helps the unity or the fragmentation of international law. The article argues that this exercise in expansionism, albeit imperfect, eventually contributes to the unity of international law. In this sense, this expansionism happens within controlled boundaries, and the use of external instruments is more of a validation of findings the Court could make based solely on the Inter-American instruments, rarely creating new rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law
  • Political Geography: America, Vienna
  • Author: Ole Kristian Fauchald
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This empirical analysis of the use of interpretive arguments by ad hoc tribunals of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes covers almost 100 cases decided during the past 10 years. The cases are analysed with a view to determining which arguments the tribunals use and how the arguments are used in light of Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The analysis provides a basis for addressing the extent to which ICSID tribunals contribute to creating a predictable legal framework in which the interests of investors, states, and third parties are taken properly into account; the extent to which ICSID tribunals contribute to a coherent development of international investment law; and whether ICSID tribunals contribute to a 'fragmentation' of international law. Despite ICSID tribunals being ad hoc tribunals that solve legal disputes on the basis of heterogeneous legal sources, the article indicates that there is a tendency among ICSID tribunals to contribute to a homogeneous development of the methodology of international law. Nevertheless, the article concludes that ICSID tribunals could do significantly more to align their approaches to interpretive arguments with those of other international tribunals.
  • Topic: Development, Law
  • Political Geography: Vienna