Philosophy, Priorities and Provisional Measures: The ICJ’s Order on the United States’ Sanctions against Iran – Molly Thomas

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.

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A Tad on the Intersection between Climate Change and Free Trade Agreements – Dr Jadranka Petrovic

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,[1]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).

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The Supreme Court of the Philippines’ Review of Duterte’s Exit from the International Criminal Court: The Role of Domestic Courts in the Treaty Withdrawal Debate – Keilin Anderson

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.

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The Nuclear Weapon Prohibition Treaty – Prof. Ramesh Thakur

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.

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The gig economy and future international labour law regulation: the new horizon – Stephen Ranieri

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.

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Sacred Sites, Corpus Separatum and the Spectre of Monetary Gold: Palestine’s Case against the United States in the International Court of Justice – Molly Thomas

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.

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The Growing Private International Law Community: Report from the Conflict of Laws Section of the Society of Legal Scholars Conference, September 2018, Queen Mary University of London – Michael Douglas

Globalisation has altered the makeup of the work of domestic courts all around the world. Civil litigation is increasingly cross-border. Yet despite the frequent recognition that private international law (conflict of laws) is increasingly important, the subject is still a bit of a niche, at least in Australia. It is a compulsory subject at Sydney Law School but many other law schools do not offer it at all. A handful of Australian academics specialise in the subject, as a handful of barristers hold themselves out as specialists. Happily, that smallish circle is steadily growing.

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The Prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K: International and Regional Implications – Greg Barns

Bernard Collaery was once the Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory but he now finds himself seated in the dock in that jurisdiction along with his client, a former officer of the Australian Security Intelligence Service (ASIS), known as Witness K. Mr Collaery and Witness K have been charged with allegedly breaching section 39 of the Federal Intelligence Services Act 2001, which makes it an offence to  communicate “any information or matter that was acquired or prepared by or on behalf of ASIS in connection with its functions or relates to the performance by ASIS of its functions.” The matter is being dealt with in the ACT Magistrates Court and carries a maximum penalty of 2 years.

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