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  • Author: Sara De Vido
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Water has been a challenging issue over the centuries. From questions of national boundaries and navigation, quite common in the past, to the development of a human right to water, this essential element for human life has always spurred debate among international lawyers, economists, political scientists, geographers, and anthropologists. The reason may be found in the scarcity of water, a phenomenon which affects both developed and developing countries. Much has been written on the topic, but the three books under review significantly contribute to a critical analysis of some pertinent legal issues related to water. The title of each monograph reflects the purpose of the respective study. Hence, International Law for a Water-Scarce World by Brown Weiss starts from the acknowledgement that 'the fresh water crisis is the new environmental crisis of the 21st century' (at 1) and provides an integrated analysis of water law, which considers climate implications, river basins, and the availability and quality of fresh water. Boisson De Chazournes' Fresh Water in International Law investigates the status of fresh water in international law. The choice of the titles of the chapters is particularly evocative. Thus, after a chapter on regulation of fresh water use, the book continues with chapters on the 'Economization' of the law applicable to fresh water, its 'Environmentalization', followed by its 'Humanization', and 'Institutionalization Trends in Fresh Water Governance', before focusing on dispute settlement mechanisms. The use of the ending '-zation' gives the immediate impression of the evolution of the law on fresh water resources, which now includes several separate but clearly interrelated aspects. The title of the third book, written by Thielbörger, deserves attention for two elements, the first being the letter 's' inside the parentheses and the second being the adjective 'unique' used for identifying the human right to water. The Right(s) to Water. The Multi-Level Governance of a Unique Human Right pursues a different purpose from the two other books under review which adopt a more comprehensive approach. Thielbörger's book (based on his doctoral dissertation) studies the human right to water from a comparative and international perspective, emphasizing the complexity of a right which is strictly linked to other rights but constitutes at the same time a right of its own.
  • Topic: Development, Human Rights, International Law
  • Author: Ruti Teitel
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Does international law have an answer to the question: 'what is a fair international society'? In her insightful book, Emmanuelle Tourne-Jouannet interrogates in a systematic fashion diverse areas of international law that touch upon or address, directly or indirectly, fairness, equity, or redistribution: from the law of development to minority rights to international economic law. By taking positive law as the point of departure for an inquiry about global justice, Tourme- Jouannet departs, in a refreshing way, from attempts to extrapolate from mainstream legal theory an abstract conception of global justice. '[W]hat is to be addressed here are not contemporary theories of justice and the philosophical questions that the topic raises .... [I]t is the aim to address them here from a different angle: from within legal practice, as it were .... I have opted for an approach based on existing legal practice, with a view to conceptualizing and questioning it' (at 3). For Tourme-Jouannet, the question about the fairness of international legal practice leads to a number of other legal-historical questions regarding the contemporary evolution of international law. The project is 'simply to begin by identifying the principles and legal practices relating to development and recognition' ( ibid. ). In her view, adopting a historical perspective, these practices – notwithstanding their differences – reflect a joint concern with achieving global justice over the years.
  • Topic: Economics, International Law
  • Author: Janina Dill
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article introduces three ways in which a state at war can attempt to accommodate the often contradictory demands of military necessity and humanitarianism – three 'logics' of waging war. The logics of sufficiency, efficiency and moral liability differently distribute the harm and destruction that waging war inevitably causes. International law demands belligerents follow the logic of sufficiency. Contemporary strategic imperatives, to the contrary, put a premium on waging war efficiently. Cross-culturally shared expectations of proper state conduct, however, mean killing in war ought to fit the logic of moral liability. The latter proves entirely impracticable. Hence, a belligerent faces a choice: (i) renounce the right and capacity to use large-scale collective force in order to meet public expectations of morally appropriate state conduct (logic of liability); (ii) defy those expectations as well as international law and follow strategic imperatives (logic of efficiency) and (iii) follow international law (logic of sufficiency), which is inefficient and will be perceived as illegitimate. This is the 21st-century belligerent's trilemma.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Amanda Alexander
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article questions the conventional histories of international humanitarian law, which view international humanitarian law as the heir to a long continuum of codes of warfare. It demonstrates instead that the term international humanitarian law first appeared in the 1970s, as the product of work done by various actors pursuing different ends. The new idea of an international humanitarian law was codified in the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Nevertheless, many of the provisions of the Protocols remained vague and contested, and their status, together with the humanitarian vision of the law they outlined, was uncertain for some time. It was only at the end of the 20th century that international lawyers, following the lead of human rights organizations, declared Additional Protocol I to be authoritative and the law of war to be truly humanitarian. As such, this article concludes that international humanitarian law is not simply an ahistorical code, managed by states and promoted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Rather, it is a relatively new and historically contingent field that has been created, shaped and dramatically reinterpreted by a variety of actors, both traditional and unconventional.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Political Geography: Geneva
  • Author: Ulf Linderfalk
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Although treaty interpretation is undoubtedly an activity governed by international law, and by Articles 31–33 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) in particular, some commentators continue repeating the pre-Vienna adage that treaty interpretation is a matter of art and not science, the implication of which is that no understanding of a treaty provision can ever be explained rationally. As the present article argues, this idea of interpretation must be rejected. While, sometimes, an assumed meaning of a treaty cannot be justified based on international law simpliciter, many times it can still be explained based on the structural framework of Articles 31–33 of the VCLT. Consequently, any characterization of treaty interpretation in the abstract as either art or science is misplaced. Whether treaty interpretation is an art or a science remains a question of fact inextricably tied to the approach taken by each and every law-applying agent in particular cases.
  • Topic: International Law
  • Author: Helmut Philipp Aust
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Cities are beginning to assert themselves as internationally relevant actors. This is particularly noticeable in the climate change context. This development has so far not been accorded a great deal of attention by international lawyers. The review essay discusses four new books by political scientists which offer us a closer look at the political dimension of 'global cities', a term originally coined by sociologist Saskia Sassen. The four books under review as well as this essay pay particular attention to the C40 association – a movement of self-styled city leaders in climate change governance. This group of cities has developed numerous ties with international organizations and private corporations. The review essay analyses how cooperative endeavours such as C40 challenge our understanding of the relationship between the city and the state and assesses how international law as a discipline could come to terms with these developments. It is argued that international law should fulfil two functions in this regard: recognition and contestation. Whereas cities may not yet be recognized subjects of international law, they are moving closer to this illustrious circle. In any case, their law-making processes are beginning to have a significant impact on processes of global governance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Law, Governance
  • Author: Jochen von Bernstorff
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Global economic justice as a topic of moral philosophy and international law is back on the intellectual agenda and figures prominently in feuilletons, blogs and academic publications. A wave of recent studies by both international lawyers and moral philosophers on the dark side of economic globalization and the role of international law in this context is as such a remarkable phenomenon. The essay engages with diverging scholarly perspectives on global justice and international law as represented in the four volumes under review. Three substantive questions structure the non-comprehensive sketch of the global justice debate: (i) Is the current international economic order unjust? (ii) Can existing international legal rules and institutions be transformed or developed into a more just economic order? (iii) What is the potential role of international lawyers in this context?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Law
  • Author: Kirsty Gover
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: When the UN General Assembly voted in 2007 to adopt the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), only Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA cast negative votes. This article argues that the embedding of indigenous jurisdictions in the constitutional orders of these states via negotiated political agreements limits their capacity to accept certain provisions of the UNDRIP. Once the agreement-making process is set in motion, rights that do not derive from those bargains threaten to undermine them. This is especially true of self-governance and collective property rights, which are corporate rights vested to historically continuous indigenous groups. Since these rights cannot easily be reconciled with the equality and non-discrimination principles that underpin mainstream human rights law, settler governments must navigate two modes of liberalism: the first directed to the conduct of prospective governance in accordance with human rights and the rule of law and the second directed to the reparative goal of properly constituting a settler body politic and completing the constitution of the settler state by acquiring indigenous consent. Agreements help to navigate this tension, by insulating indigenous and human rights regimes from one another, albeit in ways not always supported by the UNDRIP.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, United Nations, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Canada, United Nations, Australia, New Zealand, United States of America
  • Author: Ilias Bantekas
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Ottoman state practice in the field of state succession in the 19th century displayed strict adherence to the European notions of international law. This is evident from the ratification of cession treaties, attention to reciprocity, the use of mediation and reliance on the existing laws of war principles, including the legal effects of occupation, conquest and the rights and duties of belligerents. This article focuses on state succession treaties with Greece since they represented the paradigm for all future treaties, and it examines the Islamic origin of Ottoman land regulation. The Ottomans succeeded in attaching a further condition to their cession arrangements with the new Greek state, namely the latter’s obligation to respect the property rights of Muslim citizens. This arrangement brought into play the application of Ottoman land law, to which Greece was under no obligation to succeed. This body of law, particularly the set of property rights bestowed under it, became a focal point in the ensuing state succession negotiations. It was the actual basis of Muslim property rights – a precursor to contemporary property rights – and a sine qua non element of Ottoman practice in the law of state succession. In this light, Ottoman land law and institutions should correctly be considered to be general principles of law – with origins from the Quran and the early caliphates – as well as regional custom, at least in the territories liberated from Ottoman rule, which continued to apply and enforce it not only among Muslims but also in the property relations of the indigenous ethnic communities.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam, Treaties and Agreements, History, Land Law
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Ottoman Empire
  • Author: Oren Perez
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The objective of the present article is to develop a better understanding of the institutional dynamic of transnational regulatory scientific institutions (RSIs). RSIs play a significant role in the transnational regulatory process by mediating between the scientific community and policy-making bodies. I argue that RSIs have a hybrid structure involving both political-legal and epistemic authority. The hybrid structure of RSIs – their capacity to exert both normative and epistemic authority – constitutes an innovative response to the demand of modern society for scientific certainty and to the scarcity of normative power in the international domain. This hybrid nature has a triple structure involving three complementary pairs: law~science, law~non-law and science~pseudoscience. I examine the way in which RSIs cope with the challenge of maintaining their epistemic and legal authority against the tensions generated by their hybrid structure. The discussion of hybrid authority is related to the problem of scientific uncertainty. I examine this theoretical argument drawing on an in-depth analysis of three RSIs that reflect the institutional diversity of the RSI network: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the European Committee of Homeopaths. I conclude with a discussion of some of the policy issues associated with the institutional design of RSIs. The policy discussion refers, first, to the risk posed by RSIs’ hybrid structure to their internal stability and, second, to some potential adverse social impacts that need to be considered alongside RSIs’ projected benefits.
  • Topic: International Law, Science and Technology, Law, Regulation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy