Refugees and people seeking asylum make up approximately 28.5 million of the world’s displaced population. At international law, a refugee is someone who is ‘unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.’ Asylum seekers have left their country of origin but have not had their claims for refugee status resolved. Once these individuals cross the border, they are no longer part of a national community and effectively relinquish self-determination. As self-determination forms a foundation for the exercise of other human rights, refugees and asylum seekers are especially vulnerable to continuing human rights violations.
The International Law Association (Australian Branch) has the pleasure of inviting all members and non-members to its annual end of year function on Thursday 6 December 2018 at 5.30pm. The function will explore the topic of “Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise: Possible International Law Responses”, and include a panel discussion by Justice Nicola Pain, Professor Jane McAdam, Professor Donald Rothwell, and Dr Rosemary Rayfuse. Please see flyer for further details. Registrations of attendance are required by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 3 December 2018.
It is well-known that when the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was being voted on in the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, only four states voted against it: the infamous CANZUS countries (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States). They have all since changed their position and shown varying degrees of support for the UNDRIP and what it contains.
It is noteworthy, however, that these are four developed countries with histories of English colonization and common law systems. The reluctance of these states to engage with the UNDRIP would suggest that other countries, more supportive of that process, would offer better lessons for strategic engagement. And yet, in Anglophone circles we tend to neglect the experiences of other parts of the world, particularly Latin America.
On 3 October 2018, the International Court of Justice (“the Court”) handed down its decision on provisional measures in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (“Iran”) case against the United States of America (“United States”) for alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights (“Treaty of Amity”).
The case arose out of the issuing by United States President Donald Trump of a National Security Presidential Memorandum ending the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), a multilateral plan designed to monitor and manage Iran’s compliance with its nuclear disarmament by lifting sanctions imposed on Iran by major world powers, including the United States. The President ordered that sanctions lifted under the Obama Presidency be reimposed.
Climate change is considered to be one of the most serious (‘the most serious’?) of all the threats that our planet is facing currently. Research shows that in its potential impact, climate change poses a graver problem than weapons of mass destruction, cyber war, terrorism, armed conflict and every other peril. One of the main reasons that climate change figures strongly is due to its interrelatedness with other problems, including the adverse effects of international trade on the environment. It has been argued that although beneficial and indispensable economically, trade can exacerbate pollution and other forms of environmental degradation, particularly carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. An unprecedented expansion of international trade since the 1950s has significantly impacted upon the environment. Trade is predicted to continue to be one of the major factors driving economic growth in the future. In parallel, it is expected that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to accelerate with growth indefinitely and that the very fact of increased trade, in and of itself, will lead directly to more global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As free trade agreements (FTAs) are being increasingly negotiated throughout the world,the questions of whether and how these agreements can be used to support a successful transition to a low emission and resilient economy is becoming more and more significant. By considering the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia as an example, this article pinpoints (albeit tangentially) some of the trade-climate-change-related concerns in the context of the recently signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Transpacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The questions of how, when and why States can withdraw from international agreements and with what consequences have long been overlooked in international law. The topic is even likened to mentioning divorce on a wedding day. However, the recent spate of withdrawals has bought the issue to the forefront of the international legal dialogue.
For half a century, the normative anchor of the global nuclear order has been the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On 27 October 2016, the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted, by a landslide 123-38 vote (with 16 abstentions), Resolution A/C.1/71/L.41 that called for negotiations on a ‘legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination’. This was followed by a vote in the full General Assembly on 23 December passed by an equally solid 113-35 majority. The resolution fulfilled the 127-nation humanitarian pledge ‘to stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons’. The UN-mandated conference met in New York on 27–31 March and 15 June–7 July 2017. On 7 July, 122 states voted to adopt a new Nuclear-Weapon Prohibition Treaty (NWPT). It was opened for signature in the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2017. The treaty will come into effect 90 days after fifty states have ratified it. As of 30 September 2018, 19 countries had ratified the treaty and 60 had signed it.
The Editors of the Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’), Australia’s premier generalist international law journal, are now inviting submissions for volume 20(1).
The traditional labels of employer and employee have, in recent years, broadened globally to accommodate novel labour delivery mechanisms. Leading the way are the ‘gig’ or ‘platform’ economy and ‘on-demand’ workforce. The gig economy is not a term of art, and according to De Stefano, broadly consists of two aspects: ‘crowdwork’ and ‘work on demand via apps’. Crowdwork usually involves micro-tasks of varying degrees of complexity, from the menial (such as tagging photos on social media platforms) to the specialised (such as graphic design or programming tasks). Work on demand via apps involves traditional working activities such as transportation, cleaning, or food delivery sourced through mobile application platforms, with the quintessential example being the ride-sharing app, Uber. Crowdwork can be sourced via multiple online platforms advertising to a large, undefined group of people, usually as an ‘open call’. Conversely, work on demand via apps involves an intermediary responsible for selecting its workforce and distributing work. Such firms usually also set minimum quality standards of service, and are responsible for the overall management and conditions of their workforce.
On 28 September 2018, the State of Palestine (“Palestine”) instituted proceedings in the International Court of Justice (“the Court”) against the United States of America (“United States”) regarding the relocation of the embassy of the United States of America in Israel to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
This article will explain the implications of this Application, including its factual background, Palestine’s claims on jurisdiction and merits, and the likely consequences of the filing.