The Application of other public international laws in WTO dispute settlement

 

Abstract

While WTO laws are international treaties and hence part of international law, they were not as such regarded as they are found in that corpus. As a result, the role of other public international law within the WTO dispute settlement is not yet clear.  In that whether, the dispute settlement body of the WTO in deciding cases would consult the rules and principles of other public international laws is not well articulated. The paper will examine the applicability of other international laws in the WTO dispute settlement on the basis of the WTO frame work and jurisprudence of international law. Finally, I argue that other international laws can be applied in the settlement of disputes under the WTO in case where they are relevant and proper for the theme.      

Introduction

As provided under art 38(1) of the ICJ statute international treaties are part of international law (As per Art 38(1) of ICJ, sources of international laws are international treaties, CIL, the general principles of law, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations). Since the WTO laws are multi-lateral treaties between states, they are part of the corpus of international laws. Hence, in areas that the WTO do not address; as usually made in other international cases, other public international laws can be used by the dispute settlement body (DSB) of the WTO. However, mostly, we thought that WTO is an isolated from other public international laws. The applicability or otherwise of parts of international law other than customary international law is not clearly addressed by WTO laws. Besides, if they are to be applied in the dispute settlement, their role in the proceeding is not clear. Are they for mere interpretation or can be served as a proper law in the determination of subject matter is not clear.  In this paper, the applicability of other public international laws which are recognized by WTO laws and other not recognized will be discussed. Accordingly, the Avenues whereby the other public international laws will be applied and their role in WTO proceedings will be discussed. Moreover, the interaction between WTO laws and such other public international laws will be examined. Finally, concluding and suggestion remark are given.          

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ዓለም አቀፍ ስምምነቶች በኢትዮጵያ የሕግ ሥርዓት ያላቸው ደረጃ

 

1.    ስለዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ በአጭሩ

ዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ በሉዓላዊ አገሮች መካከል ያለን ግንኙነት ወይም በአገሮችና እንደተባበሩት መንግሥታት ያሉ ዓለም አቀፍ ድርጅቶች መካከል ያለን ግንኙነት የሚገዛ የሁሉ አቀፍ ደንቦች እና መርሆዎች ሥርዓት ነው። በሌላ አነጋገር «International law is the universal system of rules and principles concerning the relations between sovereign States, and relations between States and international organizations such as the United Nations» የሚል ትርጉም ተሰጥቶት እናገኘዋለን። ቀደም ባሉት ጊዜያት በዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ እና በየሐገሩ በሚገኙ ዜጎች፣ ሉአላዊ ባለሆኑ አካላት (Transnational Corporations) እና መንግሥታዊ ባለሆኑ ዓለም አቀፍ ድርጅቶች (International Non-Governmental Organization) ቀጥተኛ ግንኙነት ያለነበረ ቢሆንም አሁን አሁን ግን ይህ የታሰበው ቀጥተኛ ግንኙነት በስፋት እየታየ መሆኑን ዓለም አቀፍ ምሁራንን እያስማማ ነው።

ይሁን እንጂ ዓለም አቀፋዊ የሆነ ማዕከላዊ ሕግ አውጭ ባለመኖሩ፣ አለፎ አልፎ ከሚታዩት በስተቀር ዓለም አቀፍ ሕግን ውጤታማና ቀጣይነት ባለው መልኩ እንዲከበር የሚያደርጉ የእርምጃ ዘዴዎች ባለመጎልበታቸው፣ እራሱን የቻለ የተጠናከረ ማዕከላዊ አስፈጻሚ አካል ጎልቶ አለመታየቱ (የተባበሩት መንግሥታት የፀጥታው ምክር ቤት ሳይዘነጋ መሆኑ ይታወቃል) ፣ ክርክሮችን ተቀብሎ እልባት የሚሰጠው ዓለም አቀፍ ፍርድ ቤትም ስራውን የሚያከናውነው እና ችሎት የሚቀመጠው አለመግባባት የታየባቸው አገሮች በራሳቸው ፍቃደኝነት ጉዳያቸውን ሲያቀርቡለት እንጂ አስገድዶ የማስቀረብ ሥልጣኑም ሆነ ተቋማዊ አደረጃጀት የሌሉት መሆኑ እና ዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ በዓለም ላይ ተጽዕኖ ፈጣሪ በሆኑ አገሮች ጥቅምና አምሳል የተፈጠረ በመሆኑ እና አፈፃፀሙም በእነሱ ተጽዕኖ ሥር በመውደቁ ፍትሃዊነቱ አጠያያቂ ነው፣ የደሃ ሐገሮችን ጥቅም አያስጠብቅም የሚሉ ትችቶችን ወ.ዘ.ተ. ግንዛቤ ውስጥ በማስገባት ዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ የሚባል ነገር እንደ ሕግ የመቆም ብቃት የለውም የሚሉ ወገኖች እየበረከቱ መጥተዋል። በተለይ የሕግ መሠረታዊ ባህሪ ነው ተብሎ የሚታሰበውን የአስገዳጅነት ተፈጥሮ አልተላበሰም በሚል የሕግ ዋጋ የለውም እያሉ ክፉኛ ያብጠለጥሉታል።  ሌሎች ደግሞ እንደ ሕግ ባለመከበሩና በመጣሱ ምክንያት ብቻ ሕግ ከመሆን የሚያግደው ነገር የለም ባይ ናቸው። እንደዚያም ከሆነ ብሄራዊ ሕጎችስ በተደጋጋሚ ሲጣሱ ይታዩ የለምን? ሲሉ በአጽእኖት ይጠይቃሉ፣ እናም የዓለማችን ግንኙነት እየሰፋ በመጣበት በአሁኑ ወቅት የዓለም አቀፍ ሕግን አሳንሶ መመልከትም ይሁን ጭራሽ እልውናውን መፈታተን እውነታን ያላገናዘበ ድምዳሜ ነው ሲሉም ትችት ያቀርባሉ።   

ዓለም አቀፍ ሕጎች በሁለት ዋና ዋና ክፍሎች ልንመድባቸው እንችላለን። እነሱም ዓለም አቀፋዊ የመንግሥት ሕግ (Public International Law) እና ዓለም አቀፋዊ የግል ሕግ (Private International Law) በማለት ሲሆን ዓለም አቀፋዊ የመንግሥት ሕግ በሁለት ወይም ከዚያ በላይ በሆኑ ራሳቸውን በቻሉ ነፃ እና ሉአላዊ አገሮች መካከል የሚፈጠረውን የሁለትዩሽ ወይም ከዚያ በላይ ግንኙነቶች የሚገዛና የሚቆጣጠር ሕግ ነው። በሌላ በኩል ዓለም አቀፋዊ የግል ሕግ በፍትሐብሄር ጉዳዩች ዙሪያ የሚፈጠሩ ግንኙነቶች እና አለመግባባቶች በሁለት ወይም ከዚያ በላይ የሆኑ አገሮች ዜጎችን በተፎካካሪነት ያሳተፈ ሲሆን አልያም የሌሎች አገር ተወላጆች ንብረት በአንዲት አገር የሚገኝ ከሆነ እንዲሁም የውጭ አገር ዜጎች አንዳንድ የፍትሐብሄር ድርጌቶችን ለምሳሌ ውርስ፣ ውል፣ ከውል ውጭ የሚያስጠየቁ ኩነቶችን የፈፀሙ እንደሆነ አለመግባባቱ መፍትሄ የሚያገኘው በዓለም አቀፍ የግል ሕግ አማካኝነት ነው።   

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Is US action under the Ambit of International Law? Human Right and International Peace and Security at Risk?

“Whoever ill-treats a citizen indirectly injures the State, which must protect that citizen.” Vattel, on ‘The Law of Nations’

The corpus of international law is the most controversial area of law opened for legal battles, when different actors interpret it to favor their interest while taking actions. This regime of law has faced criticism for not having enforcement mechanisms which can be consider as an area of law like a lion without having a teeth. Leaving this behind, this piece assess the US drone strike of Iranian commander which took place in 3 January 2020 in light of international law through doctrinal analysis of different sources.  

The world has learn from the atrocities of the two world wars and promised among other things to maintain international peace and security as well as to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war under the preamble of the UN charter. The charter under article 2(4) urge all member states to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. This system of territorial integrity is a matter of sovereignty which is attributable to the Westphalia system of 1648. However, states have an inherent right in exceptional circumstances to resort to use of force under the ambit of art. 51 of the UN charter in situations of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. It’s only in these two scenarios that the charter allowed use of force by states against another state. In this vein, unsettled issues are evolving which are controversial to employ force by states such as, use of force for humanitarian intervention, protection of nationals abroad and national liberation movements.

The US action: Where it falls? Is it under the ambit of International Law?

In the first days of 2020 the Trump administration employed the bush doctrine of anticipatory self-defense in assassinating the Iranian Commander Soleimani in Baghdad. The action of US is not only limited in affecting one UN member state’s sovereignty (Iran) rather it is also unwarranted interference against the territorial integrity of a third UN member state which is Iraq without its knowledge. This shows how power affects the international system and how it gives unfettered freedom for the superpowers in disregarding international law.

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የኢትዮጵያና የግብፅ ውጥረት በናይል ወንዝ፡ ከዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ አንጻር

 

 

1)  መግብያ

ኢትዮጵያ በተፈጥሮ ፀጋ የተከበበች ውብ ሀገር ብትሆንም በድህነት አዘቅት ውስጥ ተዘፍቃ የምትኖር፤ባደጉ ሀገራት ተረፈ ምርትና የአየር ብክለት ገፈት ቀማሽነት፤በሚጠጣ ንጹህ ውኃ እጥረት ተጠቂነት የምትነሳ ሀገር ነች፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ በመአድን፣ በለም መሬት፣ በእንስሳት፣ በውኃ ኃብት እንዲሁም በሌሎች አላቂና አላቂ ያልሆኑ የተፈጥሮ ሀብቶች ባለፀጋ መሆኗን የሚካድ ባይሆንም በተፈጥሮ የታደለችውን ኃብት ጥቅም ላይ ከማዋል ረገድ ግን እምብዛም አይደለችም፡፡ ሜዳዋንና ተራሯን የሚሸፍን የተፈጥሮ ዝናብ እየተቀበለች ይህ ዝናብ አፈሯንና ወርቋን ጠራርጎ በመውሰድ ለጎረቤት ሀገራት ነፃ ስጦታና ችሮታ እንዲሆን ከመፍቀድ ውጪ የልማት መንገዱን አልተገለጠላትም፡፡ ወንዞች በደራሽ ውኃ ተጥለቅልቀው የገበሬ ማሳ የጎርፍ ሲሳይ ሲያደርጉ ማየት ክረምት በመጣ ቁጥር የምንገነዘበው መራራ እውነት ነው፡፡ አባይን የሚያክል ግዙፍ የውሀ ኃብት ከጉሮሮዋ እየፈለቀቁ የራሳቸው ከርሰ ምድር ሲሞሉ ኢትዮጵያ  የበይ ተመልካች ሆና መኖሯን ግርምት ይፈጥራል፡፡

ናይል የሚባለው የአለም ረዥሙ ወንዝ ላይ ያለው ውኃ 85%ቱ የኢትዮጵያ ነው፡፡ ይሁንና ከ50% በላይ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ኑሮውን በኩራዝ መብራት ይመራል፡፡ ይህ ክስተት ወገብን ይቆርጣል፡፡ ”ከሞኝ ደጃፍ ሞፈር ይቆረጣል” እንዲሉ ግብፅ በናይል ወንዝ ላይ 5% እንኳን አስተዋፅኦ ሳታደርግ በምስራቅም በምእራብም የዚሁ ወንዝ ብቸኛ አለቃ ነኝ በማለት በሌሎች የናይል ተፋሰስ ሀገራት ላይ የምትሰነዝረው ዛቻና ማስፈራርያ የሚያስገርም ነው፡፡ የናይል ወንዝ ብቸኛ ባለቤት እንደሆነች በመግለፅ አሁናዊ ተጠቃሚነቷን የሚነካ ማንኛውም አይነት እንቅስቃሴ የደም መስዋእትነት ለመክፈል ዝግጁ እንደሆነች በተለያዩ አጋጣሚዎች ስትገልፅ መስማት የተለመደ ሆኗል፡፡ ሆኖም ኢትዮጵያ የግብፅ ሽለላና ቀረርቶ ጆሮ ዳባ ልበስ በማለት በግዛታዊ ክልሏ ውስጥ በሚገኝ በጥቁር አባይ ላይ ታላቁ የህዳሴ ግድብ ግንባታ ጀምራ ከ70% በላይ ማድረሷን ይታወቃል፡፡ በሌላ በኩል ይህ ግድብ ለግብፅ ራስ ምታት እንደሆነባት፤ኢትዮጵያ የያዘቸውን የልማት መንገድ ለማደናቀፍም ያልፈነቀለችው ድንጋይ እንደሌለ፤በቀጣይም የማትቆፍረው ጉድጓድ እንደማይኖር ኢትዮጵያውያን የምንገነዘበው እውነት ነው፡፡ የናይል ወንዝ በግብፅና በኢትዮጵያ መካከል የፈጠረውን ውጥረት በተለያዩ ወቅቶች የውጭና የሀገር ውስጥ ሚድያዎች ርእሰ ዜና በመሆን የአለም አቀፉ ማህበረሰብ ቀልብ መሳብ የቻለ፤አሁንም ውጥረቱ በስምምነት ያልተቋጨ ክስተት ሆኖ ቀጥሏል፡፡

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Legal Orientalism

I will try to make this short essay as perceptive as possible and I will try to avoid legal jargon. Legal jargon is thought to make a writer’s essay water-tight, however, I think this is a misperception, and such language should only be used when it is necessary to describe something accurately- with the right context, meaning and empirical reference. I do this because I do not want my reader to feel alienated by merely looking at the title. I think it is better to address the question: why am I tempted to write about ‘Legal Orientalism’?

Since colonization the West has convinced us of thinking that cultures which do not resemble “the West” are obsolete; and hence, do not deserve equal treatment. Consciously or unconsciously, we submit ourselves to the appeal of movies, media outlets, and literature, which share one thing: the identity and strength of the West. At the end of the day, we end up comparing one thing with the West and, perhaps, hastily generalize. Thus, we should be skeptical in what we see, read, listen and compare.

Orientalism came with colonization. During that era, the colonizer made itself so powerful that it deemed the colonized as illiterate, living in the dark and backward. For the colonizer, the only way to escape from this trap was to accept that the colonized was backward and for the colonized to submit to its autonomy. The colonizer used many techniques to this effect.

For example, they took one social dispute and compared their ways with the ways of the colonized to resolve it. They presented the dispute settlement mechanisms of the colonized as non-sense, which needs immediate rectification. In the mean time, text books were written to paint the picture of the colonizers’ power. They were distributed in schools; children were forced to learn it. Hence, the colonizer confined the way the colonized thinks culminating in Orientalism, i.e, a pre-established system that doesn’t correspond to the colonizer is uncivilized.

The above two paragraphs might give the reader a vantage point to understand Orientalism. Nevertheless, before discussing Legal Orientalism, it would be simpler to explain about Orientalism itself. In short, the renowned scholar in this field of study, Edward Said stated that “Orientalism is a discourse: a manifestation of power and knowledge.” The need to emphasize knowledge is because knowledge is always a matter of representation, and in turn, representation is a process of giving concrete form to ideological concepts, making certain signifiers stand for the signified.

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Have you heard about the Budapest Memorandum? It’s Totally Worthless

Speaking of the current Russia-Ukraine crisis, here is an interesting but less visible international legal dimension to the story.

Ukraine used to be part of the Soviet Union, during which time it had possessed huge stockpile of nuclear weapons arsenal – actually the third largest stockpile in the world at the time. Russia would not have ventured into Crimea today had Ukraine maintained possession of those nuclear weapons. What happened in 1994 was dramatic, and a bit embarrassing for Ukraine. At the end of the Cold War Ukraine agreed to an international deal that would deprive it of the entire nuclear weapon stockpile in its territory, mostly being transferred to Russia. In exchange, Russia, the US, and UK signed a binding pledge, the so-called Budapest Memorandum, guaranteeing the security of Ukraine. Now, what is interesting about this Memorandum is that it actually contained zero added-value as it offered Ukraine nothing other than what general international law already provided. Let me walk you through all the five articles of this Memorandum (yes it contained only five articles).

Article one states that Russia, USA and UK reaffirm their commitment to ‘to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine’. Why is this promise useless? Because article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which has since become customary international law and even arguably a peremptory norm, already prohibits states from using ‘the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.’ Respecting the territory, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine is a customary international rule, and no additional treaty is needed for that.

Article two of the Memorandum basically repeats the above point, stating that the three powerful states will ‘refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine’, and adds that ‘none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.’ This article seems to waste two clauses to say one and the same thing: what is the difference between ‘refraining from threatening or attacking’ another country and promising one’s ‘weapons won’t be used against’ such other country?  Or the difference between saying ‘I will not attack you’ and ‘none of my equipment will be used to attack you’?  One may say the first formulation concerns the actions of the attacker only while the later formulation creates responsibility on such party for the consequences of its weapons, by whomever the weapons may be used. That is to say, the first clause guarantees Russia, USA, and UK wont attack Ukraine, while the subsequent clause guarantees that the nuclear weapons of these states won’t be used by themselves or any other state against Ukraine. In either case, in as long as the Memorandum only envisages scenarios where the three states would have some control over the use of their nuclear weapons, either by themselves or through proxies, the general international law prohibition on the treat or use of force adequately covers it. A state would be held through the rules of state responsibility even if it uses other states (or non-state actors for that matter) as its proxy to attack another state. In sum, in article two of the Memorandum, Russia, USA, and UK promised not to attack Ukraine – but international law would not have allowed them to even if they had not made that promise.

Article three of the Memorandum guarantees that Russia, USA, and UK would ‘refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty.’ This seems to offer something distinct. Although unacceptable, there is no concrete rule under international law that prohibits the use of economic coercion against states (during the preparation of the UN Charter economic coercion was proposed to be prohibited together with the threat or use of force, but the proposal was rejected). However, the 1975 Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Accords) to which Ukraine and the three powerful states are members already prohibits the use of economic coercion against states. Article three of the Budapest Memorandum, therefore, is simply redundant.

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ዓባይ ከቅኝ ገዥዎችና ከዓለም አቀፍ ሕግ አንፃር

 

 

ሳፔቶ ሩባቲኖ የተባለ ኩባንያን በማቋቋም ወዲያው የባህር ንግዱን ማጧጧፍ ጀመረ፡፡ ከአሥራ ሁለት ዓመታት በኋላ የኢጣሊያ መንግሥት የጂቡቲን ጠረፋማ አካባቢ እንዲሁ በገንዘብ በመግዛት ከራስ ዱሜራ እስከ ራስ አሊ ከተቆጣጠረችው ፈረንሣይ ጋር ለመሻማት ኩባንያውን ከነካፒታሉ በመግዛት የአሰብን ጠረፋማ አካባቢዎች ተቆጣጠረ፡፡

በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ ግብፅን ስታስተዳድር የነበረችው እንግሊዝ ሱዳን ላይ የተቀሰቀሰውን ኃይለኛ የሙስሊም መሠረታውያን (ፋንዳሜንታሊስቶች) አብዮት ለመከላከል ሁነኛ አጋር ሆና እንድትቆምላት ኢጣሊያ ከቆላማዎቹ የቀይ ባህር አካባቢዎች በመነሳት ወደ ደጋማው የኢትዮጵያ ግዛት (ኤርትራ) ግዛቷን እንድታስፋፋ አበረታታቻት፡፡

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ የሱዳን ሙስሊም ፋንዳሜንታሊስቶች በሱዳን ምሥራቃዊ ክፍል የመሸገውን ለእንግሊዝ ያደረ የግብፅ ጦር በመክበብ በውኃ ጥም ሊፈጁት ሆነ፡፡ 

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Status and Application of Juvenile Related International Frameworks in Ethiopia

The applicability of international frameworks, in general, depends initially on the status a given country gives to international instruments in its legal system. Its commitment begins with the clear statement it makes regarding the status and application of those ratified instruments. This is why usually States determine in their domestic legislations status related issues such as incorporation, hierarchy, implementation mechanisms, implementing institutions, etc of international instruments. This topic briefly discusses the status and applicability of juvenile justice related international instruments, particularly the ACRWC and the CRC, in Ethiopia.

International law does not recognize a specific mode of incorporation of international instruments leaving the room for States to choose their own way of incorporation. Because of this, modes of incorporation differs from one country to the other traditionally falling either in monism (mostly followed by civil law countries), where international law and domestic law are part of the same legal order by virtue of declaration made to that effect usually in the Constitution, and dualism (followed by common law countries), where international law is separate and not directly applicable in the domestic order unless incorporating/enabling legislation is passed to that effect.

Other modes of incorporation are also recognized by other scholars such as Cassese. One is, Automatic Standing Incorporation, whereby states declaring present or future international rules to apply without the need to pass statutes. This mode of incorporation resembles with the monist mode. The second, Legislative ad hoc incorporation requires the legislator to pass specific enabling statute regarding the treaty. The statute, commonly known as ratifying legislation usually include three or four provisions presenting ‘short title’, ‘ratification clause’, ‘scope of application’, and ‘effective date. The third mode of incorporation is called statutory ad hoc incorporation, which requires the legislature to convert every detail of treaty provisions in to national legislation.

The mode of incorporation in Ethiopia appears confusing seemingly utilizing all above discussed modes. Article 9(4) of the FDRE Constitution recognizes the monist mode or automatic standing incorporation mode by declaring every ratified treaty to form ‘an integral part of the law of the land’. Therefore, the Constitution enabled international treaties to apply directly as part of the laws of the land up on ratification.

The dualist or legislative ad hoc, or statutory ad hoc modes of incorporation also seem to exist in Ethiopia. The Federal Negarit Gazeta Establishment Proclamation (the Proclamation) requires publication of every law either duly enacted domestically or ratified to have legal effect. Based on this the practice developed incorporation of treaties in the form of statutory ad hoc mode

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