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Navigating the Green Justice: Quantification of Environmental Compensation in International Courts
25:49

Navigating the Green Justice: Quantification of Environmental Compensation in International Courts

In the wake of unprecedented environmental challenges, international law and its judicial organs face a transformative epoch marked by a pressing need to address and resolve complex environmental and climate-related disputes. The evolution of international law in this context is not merely a response to emerging environmental crises but also a testament to the dynamic interplay between legal principles and the pressing demands of a global ecological emergency. This paper explores the multifaceted role of international courts and tribunals in navigating and shaping the landscape of environmental justice, particularly focusing on the quantification of environmental compensation. Historically, environmental concerns have often been relegated to the background in international legal disputes. However, recent decades have witnessed a paradigm shift, driven by the emergence of high-risk transboundary economic activities, the looming threats of climate change, the peril of biodiversity loss, and the increasingly recognized nexus between international environmental law and human rights. This new era demands innovative legal solutions and approaches from international judicial bodies. The response of international courts and tribunals to the environmental emergency is multifarious. Not only do they resolve contentious environmental disputes, but they also issue advisory opinions and precautionary measures to address legal ambiguities and safeguard environmental interests. Furthermore, these courts are instrumental in adjudicating on environmental issues of collective concern, often categorized as erga omnes obligations, thus underscoring their universal significance. Additionally, this paper delves into the specific roles of judicial bodies specialized in human rights or the law of the sea. These bodies are pivotal in reconciling potentially conflicting legal interests and establishing specialized standards for environmental preservation in distinct contexts. This role is particularly crucial in light of the intricate and often overlapping legal frameworks governing environmental protection and human rights. The paper presents an in-depth analysis of potential themes, including the interpretation of international environmental rules by international courts (ICs) and tribunals, the procedural complexities inherent in environmental and climate disputes, the varied dimensions of advisory opinions on climate change, the influence of ICs in shaping the international environmental and climate regime, and the protection of the environment in conflict situations as reflected in international case law. This comprehensive study aims to elucidate the evolving jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals in the realm of environmental law. It highlights the challenges and opportunities in quantifying environmental compensation, which is crucial for ensuring accountability and fostering a sustainable balance between economic development and environmental conservation. The paper underscores the significance of a robust and dynamic international legal framework capable of addressing the multifaceted challenges of environmental degradation and climate change, thereby contributing to the development of a coherent and effective global environmental governance system.
Ankit Malhotra's Paper on Challenges and Implications in International Legal Enforcement
14:44

Ankit Malhotra's Paper on Challenges and Implications in International Legal Enforcement

Unwritten constitutional norms stand at the crossroads between established legal traditions and flexible governance mechanisms. In the absence of codified, binding legal documents, these norms operate largely within the realm of tradition, precedent, and cultural understandings. Grounded in sources such as customary international law, general principles of law recognized by civilized nations, and decisions of international courts (e.g., International Court of Justice), these unwritten norms play an essential role in the global legal fabric. While they lack the formalized rigour of their written counterparts, they offer unique benefits like adaptability, fluidity, and a profound reliance on shared cultural and societal values. Such norms draw strength from democratic authority, political accountability, and a balance of powers achieved through institutional interplay. The judiciary, in this context, functions with a notable degree of independence from direct political influences. However, unwritten norms also present challenges for international legal enforcement. Without clear codification, it becomes a task to identify, standardize, and enforce such norms on an international scale. Instruments like the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties or advisory opinions from the International Court of Justice provide some guidance, but gaps remain. This has implications for upholding constitutionalism globally, especially in an era where traditional written constitutions sometimes falter in the face of authoritarian regimes or when there's a growing apathy towards political processes. Given these complexities, it is imperative to explore the dynamics of unwritten constitutionalism further. Key areas of interest may include, but are not limited to, the international community's role in upholding such norms, the intersection of local traditions with global legal standards, and the potential of unwritten norms to serve as a bulwark against growing global constitutional crises. As the world continues to evolve and adapt, a deeper understanding of these unwritten norms, guided by international legal instruments and precedents, may hold the key to ensuring sustained democratic governance and legal enforcement in an increasingly interconnected world.
Ankit Malhotra’s Paper on Employing the Domestic- International Law Relationship
13:19

Ankit Malhotra’s Paper on Employing the Domestic- International Law Relationship

The Maldives grapples with the intricate balance of integrating international law within its domestic legal framework, which is reflected in its adherence to Lord Bingham's eight-point list on the rule of law. Firstly, the Maldivian legal system, is influenced by Islamic Sharia and for legal certainty. Yet, harmonizing this with international standards sometimes creates ambiguities due to the nation's distinct cultural and geographical landscape. Secondly, the Maldivian Constitution under Article 68, prioritizes the application of law over discretion. However, the infusion of international norms often sees local politics creating tensions in its uniform application. Third (and fourth), while the Constitution affirms equality before the law, the interplay of domestic norms influenced by Sharia Law with international human rights standards occasionally leads to discrepancies. Maldives' ratification of global human rights treaties indicates a drive to align local practices with international expectations. However, challenges, especially concerning freedom of expression, remain. Fifth, while ensuring access to justice, adapting international legal procedures to the nation's unique geography is an ongoing challenge, though decentralization efforts aim to bridge this. While checks and balances exist domestically, integrating international governance standards calls for heightened transparency and anti-corruption mechanisms. Seventh, the domestic judiciary's commitment to fair adjudication sometimes clashes with international perceptions, especially when political interferences arise. Crucially, as a nation susceptible to climate change, the Maldives actively incorporates international environmental standards, evident in their dedication to international accords such as the Paris Agreement. In conclusion, the Maldives' journey in assimilating international law into its domestic landscape reveals both commendable progress and areas for reflection, illustrating the dynamic dance between local traditions, international expectations, and legal evolution.
Ankit Malhotra's Paper on International Crimes in Ukraine and Eurojust
21:47

Ankit Malhotra's Paper on International Crimes in Ukraine and Eurojust

This essay explores the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction within the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) framework, particularly in investigating and prosecuting the crime of aggression related to conflict-related crimes committed since February 2022 in Ukraine. Universal jurisdiction allows for the prosecution of certain crimes that harm the international community, irrespective of where they were committed, or the nationalities involved. The essay juxtaposes this principle with the doctrine of obligations erga omnes, as illustrated in the Barcelona Traction case, to question whether acts of aggression warrant the invocation of universal jurisdiction. It critically examines the mandate of the JIT, its interaction with universal jurisdiction, and the varying stances of JIT Member States like Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, and Romania. These countries have differing approaches to codifying international crimes, particularly the crime of aggression, within their national legal frameworks. The essay also delves into the interplay between universal jurisdiction and protective jurisdiction, highlighting Romania's preference for the latter. The potential role of JIT, Eurojust, Europol, and the ICC in creating an efficient framework for evidence collection and legal processes is discussed. The paper addresses the complexities and challenges of applying universal jurisdiction to the crime of aggression, including the high threshold set by the Kampala Amendments and the political dynamics influencing impartial prosecutions. Finally, the essay considers the implications of a Special Tribunal for crimes against Ukraine and the need for a balanced, just, and collaborative approach to international criminal justice, urging JIT Member States to lead this endeavor.
Ankit Malhotra's Paper on Advisory Opinions in International Courts and Tribunals for ASIL and LASIL
15:27

Ankit Malhotra's Paper on Advisory Opinions in International Courts and Tribunals for ASIL and LASIL

The introduction of a paper on the intersection of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and key international legal institutions, namely the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAC+HR), is a complex and nuanced task. It necessitates an exploration of how TWAIL provides a critical perspective on international law, especially concerning the global South's experiences and challenges. TWAIL, as a theoretical framework, emerged as a response to the dominance of Western perspectives in international law. This approach critiques the prevailing legal structures and norms, contending that they often perpetuate inequalities between developed and developing nations. TWAIL scholars argue that international law has historically been utilized as a tool for colonial and neo-colonial domination, and thus, seek to unearth the ways in which legal norms and practices can be reoriented to better serve the interests of the global South. The role of the ICJ, ITLOS, and IAC+HR in this context is pivotal. The ICJ, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, plays a crucial role in settling legal disputes between states and giving advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and specialized agencies. Similarly, ITLOS is a specialized tribunal established under the UNCLOS, primarily dealing with disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the convention. The IAC+HR, on the other hand, focuses on the promotion and protection of human rights in the American hemisphere. These institutions are central to the interpretation and application of international law. The significance of pending requests for advisory opinions in these institutions cannot be overstated. Advisory opinions, although non-binding, carry substantial moral and political weight and can influence the development of international law. When analyzed through a TWAIL lens, these pending requests offer a unique insight into the evolving dynamics of international law and its implications for the global South. The thesis statement posits that examining these requests for advisory opinions through a TWAIL perspective can reveal potential shifts towards a more equitable international legal framework. This analysis could underscore how these institutions are addressing, or failing to address, the concerns of the global South and, consequently, point towards the ways in which international law might be evolving to become more inclusive and just. This approach demands a thorough understanding of both the specific legal issues at hand and the broader geopolitical and historical contexts within which these issues are situated.
Ankit Malhotra's Paper on State Immunity in the International Court of Justice
16:06

Ankit Malhotra's Paper on State Immunity in the International Court of Justice

On June 27, 2023, a major international legal controversy was ignited when Iran initiated proceedings against Canada at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The core of Iran's claim is that the terrorism exceptions embedded in Canada’s State Immunities Act (SIA) are inconsistent with customary international law. While the immediate face of the lawsuit targets Canadian legislation, a deeper analysis reveals that the primary objective of this action might be the United States. With U.S. courts having awarded billions of dollars in damages against Iran under similar terrorism exceptions in the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), Iran's strategy can be viewed as both a legal and a political maneuver, with wider implications for international relations and law. At its essence, the principle of state immunity acknowledges that states are immune from the jurisdiction of foreign national courts. Conceptually rooted in sovereign equality and non-intervention, the evolution of global political dynamics and the rise of transnational terrorism have led many nations to carve out exceptions to this principle. Particularly in the context of terrorist activities. Found in Canada's SIA and the U.S.'s FSIA, national courts tend to exercise jurisdiction over states that are believed to have sponsored acts of terrorism, such exceptions challenge the established tenets of state immunity. Iran's decision to contest the legality of Canada's SIA at the ICJ provides a window into its wider concerns about the implications of such terrorism exceptions on its own sovereignty and international standing. U.S. courts, operating under the FSIA's terrorism exceptions, have rendered judgments obliging Iran to pay significant damages. These judgments, largely seen by Iran as a political tool wielded by the U.S., have intensified tensions between the two nations. By focusing its legal challenge on Canada's SIA, Iran could be adopting a strategy of indirect confrontation with the U.S. Choosing to challenge Canada, a nation with which it has less politically charged relations compared to the U.S., Iran could be aiming to establish a favorable ICJ precedent. A decision against Canada would not only cast doubt on the legality of the FSIA's terrorism exceptions but could also potentially render existing U.S. judgments against Iran unenforceable. The wider implications of Iran's lawsuit extend beyond its immediate parties. First, if the ICJ rules in favor of Iran, it would signal a reiteration of the traditional norms of state immunity, potentially rolling back national efforts to combat state-sponsored terrorism through judicial means. On the contrary, a ruling against Iran would validate the global trend towards carving out exceptions to state immunity in the context of terrorism, thereby legitimizing similar national legislations across the globe. Second, the lawsuit underscores the interconnectedness of international relations and law. While the ICJ's decisions are principally legal, they are inevitably influenced by, and have an influence on, global political dynamics. The lawsuit, regardless of its outcome, will play a role in reshaping the discourse on state-sponsored terrorism, state immunity, and the extent to which national courts can venture into traditionally inter-state matters. In conclusion, Iran's lawsuit against Canada at the ICJ, while superficially a challenge against a specific Canadian law, is emblematic of larger issues at the intersection of international law and politics. Its outcome will have far-reaching consequences for the principle of state immunity, the global fight against terrorism, and the intricate dance of diplomacy and law on the world stage.