Thursday, June 23, 2011

McGrady: Trade and Public Health: The WTO, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Diet

Benn McGrady (Georgetown Univ.) has published Trade and Public Health: The WTO, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Diet (Cambridge Univ. Press 2011). Here's the abstract:
Non-communicable diseases, associated with risk factors such as tobacco consumption, poor diet and alcohol use, represent a growing health burden around the world. The seriousness of non-communicable diseases is reflected in the adoption of international instruments such as the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; the WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health; and the WHO Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol. In line with these instruments, states are beginning to use measures such as taxes, restrictions on marketing, product regulation and labeling measures for public health purposes. This book examines the extent to which the law of the World Trade Organization restricts domestic implementation of these types of measures. The relationship between international health instruments and the WTO Agreement is examined, as are the WTO covered agreements themselves.

Klopschinski: Der Schutz geistigen Eigentums durch völkerrechtliche Investitionsverträge

Simon Klopschinski (Hoffmann Eitle) has published Der Schutz geistigen Eigentums durch völkerrechtliche Investitionsverträge (Carl Heymanns Verlag 2011). Here's the abstract:

Seit jeher gibt es völkerrechtliche Abkommen, die Rechte des geistigen Eigentums schützen. Das TRIPs als Teil der WTO-Rechtsordnung ist der bisherige Höhepunkt dieser multilateralen Anstrengungen und verpflichtet die Mitgliedstaaten, Mindeststandards auf dem Gebiet des geistigen Eigentums in ihren nationalen Rechtsordnungen zu verankern.

Zusätzlich zu speziell immaterialgüterrechtlichen Abkommen zum Schutz des geistigen Eigentums sind in der jüngeren Vergangenheit weitere völkerrechtliche Abkommen hinzugekommen, die neben anderen Eigentumsrechten auch Rechte des geistigen Eigentums schützen.

So erfassen auch völkerrechtliche Investitionsabkommen Rechte des geistigen Eigentums. In Investitionsabkommen verpflichten sich die Vertragsstaaten, private Investoren aus anderen Vertragsstaaten und deren Investitionen angemessen zu behandeln. Investitionen im Sinne dieser Abkommen sind neben Immobiliar- und Mobiliareigentum, Aktien und anderen Eigentumsrechten auch Rechte des geistigen Eigentums.

Verstößt der Gaststaat gegen die Standards eines Investitionsvertrags, sehen die meisten neueren Abkommen einen Streitbeilegungsmechanismus vor. Dieser erlaubt es dem privaten Investor, den Gaststaat unter Berufung auf den Investitionsvertrag vor einem internationalen Schiedsgericht zu verklagen, ohne auf die Mitwirkung seines Heimatstaates angewiesen zu sein. Somit unterscheiden sich Streitbeilegungsmechanismen, die in Investitionsabkommen vorgesehen sind, fundamental vom Streitbeilegungsmechanismus der WTO, der nur WTO-Mitgliedstaaten und nicht Privatpersonen offen steht. Im Gegensatz zur nationalen Rechtsordnung des Gaststaates kann der Investitionsvertrag nur im Einverständnis mit dem anderen Vertragsstaat abgeändert werden. Daher steht dem privaten Investor nicht nur ein exterritoriales Schiedsgericht für sein Anliegen zur Verfügung, er kann sich außerdem auf Rechtsvorschriften berufen, die dem einseitigen Zugriff des Gaststaates entzogen sind.

Ende 2009 gab es weltweit ca. 2.750 bilaterale Investitionsabkommen, wobei die Bundesrepublik Deutschland weit über 100 solcher Abkommen vor allem mit Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländer, wie z.B. der Volksrepublik China, abgeschlossen hat.

Die vorliegende Arbeit unternimmt den Versuch, die Bedeutung völkerrechtlicher Investitionsabkommen für Rechte des geistigen Eigentums und das Verhältnis zwischen Investitionsabkommen und speziellen immaterialgüterrechtlichen Abkommen zum Schutz des geistigen Eigentums, wie z.B. TRIPs, aufzuklären.

Conference: 16th Annual Conference of the Italian Society of International Law

The Italian Society of International Law will hold its 16th Annual Conference today and tomorrow, June 23-24, 2011, in Catania. The theme is "La tutela dei diritti umani e il diritto internazional." The program is here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trapp: State Responsibility for International Terrorism

Kimberley N. Trapp (Univ. of Cambridge - Law) has published State Responsibility for International Terrorism (Oxford Univ. Press 2011). Here's the abstract:

The rules of state responsibility have an important but under-utilized role to play in the terrorism context. They determine both whether a breach of primary obligations has occurred, through the rules of attribution, and the consequences which flow from that breach, including the possible adoption of responsive measures by injured states. This book explores the substantive international legal obligations and rules of state responsibility applicable to international terrorism and examines the problems and prospects for effectively holding states responsible for internationally wrongful acts related to terrorism. In particular, it analyses the way in which the implementation of state responsibility for international terrorism may be affected by the self-determination debate, any applicable lex specialis (including the jus in bello), and sub-systems of international law (such as the WTO-), as well as the interaction between determinations of individual criminal responsibility and the implementation of state responsibility.

The international community has responded to the threat of international terrorism both through a security/jus ad bellum paradigm and by creating an international criminal law framework to address the conduct of non-state terrorist actors. The secondary rules of state responsibility analysed in this book cut across both approaches as they apply, whether states breaching their primary obligations relating to terrorism through participation in or a failure to prevent or punish terrorism. While this book identifies a number of problems in implementing state responsibility for international terrorism, it also highlights the prospects for the rules of state responsibility to make a crucial contribution to maintaining respect for obligations which lie at the very foundations of the contemporary international legal order, and to restoring the relationships between states if those obligations are breached.

Thomas: China and the WTO Dispute Settlement System: From Passive Observer to Active Participant?

Kristie Thomas (Nottingham Univ. - Business) has posted China and the WTO Dispute Settlement System: From Passive Observer to Active Participant? Here's the abstract:
Since China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in December 2001, it has participated in a relatively small number of cases brought to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), contrary to the many wild predictions made prior to entry. In the first few years post-accession, China seemed content to act as a passive observer, participating mainly as a third party. However, since 2006, there appears to have been a shift in attitude with China now taking a more combative stance, particularly in the past few years. This article will examine China’s participation in the WTO DSB from 2002 to date to explore whether China’s approach really has shifted from that of passive observer to that of an active participant, possible reasons to explain this transformation and what the implications of such a shift may be for other WTO Contracting Parties.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saul: Legislating from a Radical Hague: The United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon Invents an International Crime of Transnational Terrorism

Ben Saul (Univ. of Sydney - Law) has posted Legislating from a Radical Hague: The United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon Invents an International Crime of Transnational Terrorism (Leiden Journal of International Law, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
In 2011, the Appeals Chamber of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon purported to identify a customary international crime of transnational terrorism and applied it in interpreting domestic terrorism offences under Lebanese law. This article argues that the Tribunal's decision was incorrect because all the sources of custom relied upon by the Appeals Chamber – national legislation, judicial decisions, regional and international treaties, and UN resolutions – were misinterpreted, exaggerated, or erroneously applied. The Tribunal's laissez-faire attitude towards custom formation jeopardizes the freedom from retrospective criminal punishment, subjugating the human rights of potential defendants to the Tribunal's own moralizing conception of what the law ought to be. The decision is not good for international law or public confidence in its institutions and processes.

New Issue: International Theory

The latest issue of International Theory (Vol. 3, no. 1, March 2011) is out. Contents include:
  • Emanuel Adler & Vincent Pouliot, International practices
  • Edward A. Page, Cosmopolitanism, climate change, and greenhouse emissions trading
  • Markus Kornprobst, The agent's logics of action: defining and mapping political judgement
  • Reinhard Wolf, Respect and disrespect in international politics: the significance of status recognition
  • Renee Jeffery, Reason, emotion, and the problem of world poverty: moral sentiment theory and international ethics

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bradlow & Naude-Fourie: The Evolution of Operational Policies and Procedures at International Financial Institutions

Daniel Bradlow (American Univ. - Law) & Andria Naude-Fourie (Erasmus Univ. Rotterdam - Law) have posted The Evolution of Operational Policies and Procedures at International Financial Institutions: Normative Significance and Enforcement Potential. Here's the abstract:
The exact contours of international organizations’ (IO) responsibility have not yet been clearly defined. While IOs – and international financial institutions (IFIs) in particular – have in the past avoided drawing those contours in more certain terms, this position is slowly changing: IFIs have been changing expectations about their standards of conduct, as reflected in their evolving operational policies and procedures (OP&P). This report provides an overview of the content, formulation, adoption, amendment and enforcement of OP&P at multilateral development banks (MDB) (a subset of IFIs). It highlights the impact of three developments that are strengthening the normative significance and enforcement potential of the OP&P, namely: broadening stakeholder participation in OP&P revision processes; ‘hardening’ or legalization of OP&P through the compliance procedures of independent accountability mechanisms (IAM) – now widely established at MDBs; and the emerging enforcement potential of the IAMs.

New Issue: Michigan Journal of International Law

The latest issue of the Michigan Journal of International Law (Vol. 32, no. 3, Spring 2011) is out. Contents include:
  • Charles Chernor Jalloh, Special Court For Sierra Leone: Achieving Justice?
  • Daniel R. Cahoy, Breaking Patents
  • Eran Sthoeger, International Child Abduction and Children's Rights: Two Means to the Same End
  • Eric Stein, War, Politics, Law—And Love: Italy 1943–1946

Alter: The Global Spread of European Style International Courts

Karen J. Alter (Northwestern Univ. - Political Science) has posted The Global Spread of European Style International Courts (West European Politics, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
Europe created the model of embedded international courts (IC), where domestic judges work with international judges to interpret and apply international legal rules that are also part of national legal orders. This model has now diffused around the world. This article documents the spread of European-style ICs: there are now eleven operational copies of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), three copies of the European Court of Human Rights, and a handful of additional ICs that use Europe’s embedded approach to international law. After documenting the spread of European-style ICs, the article then explains how two regions chose European style ICs, yet varied from the ECJ model.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hurd: Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal? The Rule of Law in an Incoherent World

Ian Hurd (Northwestern Univ. - Political Science) has posted Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal? The Rule of Law in an Incoherent World (Ethics and International Affairs, forthcoming). Here's the abstract:
The legality of humanitarian intervention is uncertain: it appears to violate the UN Charter on the use of force but recent practice by states suggests legal innovations which might permit it. Most discussions of the topic seek to establish which view is correct, leading to a debate between legality and illegality that rests on competing interpretations of historical events and competing philosophies of international law. These are irreconcilable, and the result is that humanitarian intervention can be simultaneously legal and illegal depending on one’s interpretive choices about international law. I examine what it means for international law that such a fundamental question as the legality of war cannot be resolved. This has implications for the foreign-policy decisions of states and also for how we think about the role and power of international law more broadly. It highlights the political application of international law, and argues against both the ‘compliance model’ of law that is popular in Political Science and the ‘argumentative model’ of law.