Bringing back last year memories, I choose to present a post-editorial, leaving aside the standard editorial structure (again!). This time it is a song's lyrics; "Beautiful Occupation" recently released by Travis, was written during the bombing of Iraq. Open to your preferred interpretation, "Beautiful Occupation" is one more song added to the antiwar list of songs. Less na´ve and romantic than "Imagine" and surely less cruel and bitter than "Paint It Black", it is another antiwar anthem that speaks to the hearts and minds, another interventionist channel at the disposal of the global civil society. May the New Year secure international peace and security, free from the arrogance and the temptation of military power supremacy. Besides, the defiance of the latter demarcates the fine line between utopia and eutopia. Wish you all good health, prosperity and a year full of pleasant experiences.
Don't just stand there watching it happening/I can't stand it/Don't feel it/Something's telling me/Don't wanna go out this way/But have a nice day/Then read it in the headlines/Watch it on the TV/Put it in the background/Stick it in the bag/Stick it in the bag/For the beautiful occupation/The beautiful occupation/You don't need an invitation/To drop in upon a nation/I'm too cynical/I'm just sitting here/I'm just wasting my time/Half a million civilians gonna die today/But look the wrong way/Then read it in the headlines/Watch it on the TV/Put it in the background/Stick it in the bag/Stick it in the bag/For the beautiful occupation/The beautiful occupation/You don't need an invitation/To drop in upon a nation/Don't just stand there watching it happening/I can't stand it/Don't feel it/Something telling me/Don't wanna go out this way/But have a nice day/Then read it in the headlines/Watch it on the TV/Put it in the background/Stick in the bag/Stick in the bag/For the beautiful occupation/The beautiful occupation/Don't need an invitation/To drop in upon a nation/The beautiful occupation/The beautiful occupation/So much for an intervention/Don't call the United Nations.
Michael Byers & Georg Nolte (eds.), United States Hegemony and the Foundations of International Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Twelve leading scholars of international law and international relations consider whether the current strength of the United States is leading to change in the international legal system. This book demonstrates that the effects of U.S. domination of the foundations of international law are real, but also intensely complex. The volume stimulates debate about the role of the United States in international law and interests scholars of international law and international relations, government officials and international organizations.
Buy the Book (info) here
|Relative Normativity and the Constitutional Dimension of International Law: A Place for Values in the International Legal System?, by Stefan Kirchner|
While International Law becomes more and more specialized, a tendency towards Fragmentation becomes visible: more and more sub-regimes of International Law emerge, leading to an increased number of rules. With the creation of more sub-regimes, cases are becoming more likely in which more than one sub-regime is involved and the question arises, which sub-regime's rules take precedence. Recent examples for such collisions of regimes include the relation between Free Trade and the Protection of the Environment in the Yellowfin-Tuna Case between the United States and Mexico which was settled only in January 2002, the Tadic-Nicaragua Debate and the Swordfish Case between the European Community and Chile, including the need for some form of internal order or hierarchy within International Law.
The UN General Assembly Requests a World Court Advisory Opinion On Israel's Separation Barrier, by Pieter H.F. Bekker
On December 8, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution ES-10/14 embodying a request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ or Court), the UN's principal judicial organ located in The Hague, The Netherlands, on the legal consequences arising from Israel's construction of a barrier ("Barrier") separating part of the West Bank from Israel. The text of the request reads:
"What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?" The Assembly was meeting in its tenth resumed emergency special session on the question of Palestine. The recorded vote in the Assembly, which consists of all 191 UN member states, was 90 in favor, to 8 against, with 74 abstentions. Nineteen member states did not vote.
Venues for Prosecuting Saddam Hussein: The Legal Framework, by Diane F. Orentlicher
The capture of Saddam Hussein on December 14, 2003, has prompted wide-ranging debate about where and how he should be tried. While potential venues for prosecution range across a broad spectrum, it seems likely that Hussein will be tried before a court in Iraq operating with some form of international assistance.
The International Criminal Court: Prosecutions before the year-old International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague are unlikely for two reasons. First, the Court has jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after July 1, 2002, the date that its statute entered into force. The vast majority of charges likely to be pressed against Hussein involve crimes committed before then.
Think Again: International Trade, by Arvind Panagariya
Why have disagreements between rich and poor nations stalled the global trading system? Because vapid debates over "fair trade" obscure some inconvenient facts: First, notwithstanding their demands for equity, poor countries are more protectionist than advanced economies. Second, if rich nations cut their self-defeating agricultural subsidies, their own publics would benefit, but consumers in many poor countries would not. Finally, despite criticisms to the contrary, the WTO can help promote economic development in low-income countries-but only if rich nations let the global body do its job.