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  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: I think it is difficult to contest that the most important state player in world affairs over the last one hundred years – and consistently so over this period – has been the United States of America. World War I – into which, to borrow from Christopher Clark's justly celebrated book, we 'sleepwalked' – marks a useful starting point. It is not only the fairly important role America played in bringing WWI to an end that signals the beginning of this era, but also the no less important role it played in shaping the aftermath. Wilson's 14 points were considered at the time 'idealistic' by some of the yet-to-be 'Old Powers'. But by dismantling the Ottoman Empire through the principle of self-determination (not at that time a universal legally binding norm) it was an early swallow to the demise, a mere generation later, of all other colonial empires and the truly decisive reshaping of the balance of power in the post-WWII world. The US played an equally cardinal role in ideating and realizing the United Nations Organization and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – two lynchpins of our current world order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Gaza
  • Author: Leora Bilsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: International adjudication of the Holocaust has played a defining role in the development of international criminal law. Its legacy has recently been challenged by the Holocaust restitution actions brought before American courts in the 1990s. Settled for unprecedented amounts, the litigation has been sharply criticized by legal scholars and historians, who raise doubts as to the justice achieved for victims, and criticize the representation of the Holocaust in the actions. This article assesses the contribution of civil proceedings to conceptions of justice in international law. First, contrary to the critics, it argues that the civil class action provides an appropriate legal tool to deal with the liability of bureaucratic institutions for participation in gross human rights violations. Secondly, this article argues that the restitution actions altered the relationship between law and the history of the Holocaust as shaped under the paradigm of criminal law. Precisely because it was structured as a civil action and was settled, the litigation made a substantial contribution to historical research on the relationship between the state, corporations, and civil society in the carrying out of mass crimes. Thus, in opposition to the prevailing view that criminal law is the privileged form of law for dealing with atrocity, this article uncovers the valuable contribution of this new model of litigation to international law.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gregory Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Osama bin Laden is dead. Killed by the Americans in Abbottabad, a garrison town in the night on a skillful raid, photographed dead, but without the pictures released, dumped at sea in debated accordance with debated scripture, from an un-debated carrier, it seems.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Francesco Francioni
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: 1. In introducing this EJIL symposium, I cannot help but recall a much debated article published in 1986 in the American Journal of International Law. The author of that article, Stanford professor John Merryman, theorized that there are \'two ways of thinking about cultural property\'. 1 The first, he argued, is the national(istic) way, which conceives of cultural property as part of the nation, with the attendant desire of governments to jealously retain it within state boundaries and to limit its international circulation. The second is the international way, which views cultural property as the heritage of humankind and supports the broadest access and circulation to facilitate exchange and cultural understanding among different peoples of the world. The author left no doubt that the latter view was to be preferred for its alleged capacity to contribute to a cosmopolitan order, in which cultural property can be freely accessed and thus contribute to the intellectual and moral progress of humanity. One may wonder whether this dual perspective accurately reflected the spirit of the law and the policy attitudes of the time when the article was written. Certainly, it cannot adequately explain the present state of the law and, in particular, of international law. Today, there are more than just two ways of thinking about cultural property. Cultural property may be seen as part of national identity, especially in the post-colonial and post-communist context, but it can also be looked at as part of the \'territory\', the physical public space that conditions our world view and which is part of what we normally call \'the environment\' or the \'landscape\'. Cultural property may be seen as moveable artifacts susceptible to economic evaluation, and for this reason subject to exchange in international commerce; but it may also be thought of as objects endowed …
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gaetano Pentassuglia
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: As expert analysis concentrates on indigenous rights instruments, particularly the long fought for 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a body of jurisprudence over indigenous land and resources parallels specialized standard-setting under general human rights treaties. The aim of the present article is to provide a practical and comparative perspective on indigenous land rights based on the process of jurisprudential articulation under such treaties, principally in the Inter-American and African contexts. While specialized standards inevitably generate a view of such rights (and, indeed, indigenous rights more generally) as a set of entitlements separate from general human rights, judicial and quasi-judicial practice as it exists or is being developed within regional and global human rights systems is effectively shaping up their content and meaning. I argue that indigenous land rights jurisprudence reflects a distinctive type of human rights discourse, which is an indispensable point of reference to vest indigenous land issues with greater legal significance. From a practical standpoint, focussing on human rights judicial and quasi-judicial action to expand existing treaty-based regimes and promote constructive partnerships with national courts, though not a panacea to all the intricacies of indigenous rights, does appear to offer a more realistic alternative to advocacy strategies primarily based on universally binding principles (at least at this stage) or the disengagement of domestic systems from international (human rights) law.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Susan Marks
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In 1992 the American Journal of International Law published an article by Tom Franck entitled 'The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance'. The article inaugurated an important debate on the relationship between international law and democracy. Reviewing that debate, I examine four different ways of thinking about the contemporary significance of the emerging right to democratic governance. While not claiming that any is wrong, I consider some respects in which each is limited. I also discuss Haiti, as a country which inspired the thesis of the emerging democratic entitlement, and one which remains illuminating for it today.
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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: Dapo Akande, Sangeeta Shah
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: This article examines the extent to which state officials are subject to prosecution in foreign domestic courts for international crimes. We consider the different types of immunity that international law accords to state officials, the reasons for the conferment of this immunity and whether they apply in cases in which it is alleged that the official has committed an international crime. We argue that personal immunity (immunity ratione personae) continues to apply even where prosecution is sought for international crimes. Also we consider that instead of a single category of personal immunity there are in fact two types of such immunity and that one type extends beyond senior officials such as the Head of State and Head of Government. Most of the article deals with functional immunity (immunity ratione materiae). We take the view that this type of immunity does not apply in the case of domestic prosecution of foreign officials for most international crimes. However, we reject the traditional arguments which have been put forward by scholars and courts in support of this view. Instead we consider the key to understanding when functional immunity is available lies in examining how jurisdiction is conferred on domestic courts.
  • Topic: Government, International Law
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Noemi Gal-Or
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The WTO Appellate Body represents an innovation in international law in that an international adjudication authority now operates as a final instance to hear appeals arising from international arbitral (panel) procedures. It is thereby strongly emulating domestic appellate courts without, however, possessing the characteristics that make appellate courts the institutions of justice that they are. Following this trend in a cutting-edge fashion are several other inter-governmental arrangements that had been either concluded (Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the Olivos Protocol in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur)) or proposed (the US Congresses' 2002 Trade Promotion Authority Act, the ICSID Discussion Paper of 22 October 2004, the third draft Free Trade Area for the Americas). They embrace the concept of a permanent international instance for appeal from arbitral awards, particularly regarding investment agreements including also disputes arising between the state (public) and the individual legal person (private).
  • Topic: International Law, World Trade Organization
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gerald L. Neuman
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has elaborated a significant body of human rights jurisprudence through interpretation of regional human rights conventions and the adaptation of European and global precedents and global soft law. The Inter-American Court has also aspired to influence outside its region by offering innovative interpretations of human rights and by identifying norms as jus cogens. The Court's methodology in recent years has appeared to give insufficient consideration to the consent of the regional community of states as a factor in the evolutive interpretation of a human rights treaty. The article illustrates and criticizes that trend, and contends that greater attention to indicia of regional consent could improve the acceptance and effectiveness of the inter-American human rights system.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Europe