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25. International Human Rights Law  

Nigel Rodley

This chapter considers the background to, and current developments concerning the manner in which international law has engaged with the protection of human rights, including both civil and political rights and economic, social, and cultural rights. It looks at historical, philosophical, and political factors which have shaped our understanding of human rights and the current systems of international protection. It focuses on the systems of protection developed by and through the United Nations through the ‘International Bill of Rights’, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN human rights treaties and treaty bodies, and the UN Special Procedures as well as the work of the Human Rights Council. It also looks at the systems of regional human rights protection which have been established.

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15. Issues of Admissibility and the Law on International Responsibility  

Phoebe Okowa

This chapter examines the legal regime governing the admissibility of claims in international adjudication. Particular attention is paid to the modalities of establishing legal interest in respect of claims brought by States in their own right and on behalf of their nationals. The role of nationality is examined and the problems posed by competing claims in relation to multiple nationalities are explored. The unique nature of the problems raised in extending diplomatic protection to corporations and shareholding interests is considered in light of the jurisprudence of international tribunals. The final section considers the ambit of the rule on exhaustion of local remedies and its effect on the admissibility of claims. The parameters of the rule are explored and circumstances when, as a matter of policy, it ought to be regarded as inapplicable are discussed.

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22. International Environmental Law  

Catherine Redgwell

The development of international environmental law is typically divided into three periods. The first demonstrates little genuine environmental awareness but rather views environmental benefits as incidental to largely economic concerns such as the exploitation of living natural resources. The second demonstrates a significant rise in the number of treaties directed to pollution abatement and to species and habitat conservation. Here an overt environmental focus is evident, yet the approach is still largely reactive and piecemeal. The final phase, which characterizes current international environmental law, demonstrates a precautionary approach to environmental problems of global magnitude such as biodiversity conservation and climate change. Concern transcends individual States, with certain global problems now considered the common concern of humankind. This chapter defines international environmental law, its key sources and actors, and difficulties of enforcement, before embarking on a sectoral examination of the extensive treaty law applicable in this field.

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Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

23. The relations of nationality  

This chapter discusses the doctrine of the freedom of states in matters of nationality and the general principles on which nationality has traditionally been based. It then considers the effective link principle and the decision in Nottebohm, and reviews the application of rules of international law, concluding with a discussion of the functional approach to nationality.

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31. The claims process  

This chapter considers preliminary issues, involving both jurisdiction and admissibility, before international courts and tribunals. It discusses prior negotiations, the requirement of a dispute, grounds of inadmissibility, diplomatic protection, and mixed claims.

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Cover Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law

15. Legal aspects of the protection of the environment  

This chapter discusses the role of international law in addressing environmental problems. It reviews the salient legal principles: the preventive principle, the precautionary principle, the concept of sustainable development, the polluter-pays principle, the sic utere tuo principle, and the obligation of environmental impact assessment. It gives an overview of the key multilateral conventions covering traffic in endangered species, protection of the ozone layer, transboundary movement of hazardous wastes, climate change, and protection of the marine environment.

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28. The international minimum standard: Diplomatic protection and protection of investments  

This chapter considers two discrete streams of authority – one based on the practice and jurisprudence of diplomatic protection, the other based on the generic standards in over 2,500 bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, as applied in some hundreds of tribunal decisions. The discussions cover the admission, expulsion, and liabilities of aliens; requirements for and standards of diplomatic protection; and breach and annulment of state contracts.

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10. International environmental law  

International environmental law is an area of international law where states have decided to cooperate with each other in order to fulfil certain goals of common interest and, for the most part, its rules and principles belong in the category of the international law of cooperation. This chapter discusses the most important parts of international environmental law and its main legal sources. It presents the fundamental principles of international environmental law, including those that seek to prevent damage to the environment and those that seek to ensure a balanced approach to environmental protection. It provides an overview of the most important parts of the substantial regulation in international environmental law, including the legal regime for the protection of the atmosphere, the conservation of nature and the regulation of hazardous substances. It also discusses features related to implementation and enforcement that are particular to international environmental law.

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10. International environmental law  

International environmental law is an area of international law where states have decided to cooperate with each other in order to fulfil certain goals of common interest and, for the most part, its rules and principles belong in the category of the international law of cooperation. This chapter discusses the most important parts of international environmental law and its main legal sources. It presents the fundamental principles of international environmental law, including those that seek to prevent damage to the environment and those that seek to ensure a balanced approach to environmental protection. It provides an overview of the most important parts of the substantial regulation in international environmental law, including the legal regime for the protection of the atmosphere, the conservation of nature and the regulation of hazardous substances. It also discusses features related to implementation and enforcement that are particular to international environmental law.

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3. The Principles of the International Legal System  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. The closest thing to a manifesto for international law is the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1970 as resolution 2625 (XXV). This chapter first examines the seven basic principles of the resolution: the prohibition on the threat or use of force; the duty to settle disputes peacefully; the duty of non-intervention; the duty to co-operate; (v) the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; the principle of sovereign equality of States; and (vii) the principle of good faith. The discussions then turn to the nature of the Declaration; provisions on State responsibility; the implementation of international responsibility; personality and the scope of application of international law; international law in domestic courts; international law in international tribunals; the diplomatic protection of nationals; and international law outside tribunals.

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Cover Cases & Materials on International Law

12. International Environmental Law  

The concern and awareness about the need for environmental protection has increased dramatically, both nationally and internationally, in the last few decades. One way of putting this concern into action is the law, being a means to structure and regulate behaviour. International environmental law includes many treaties and declarations, a body of State practice and some compliance mechanisms, as well as a development towards the introduction of flexible instruments to achieve compliance. This chapter discusses the context of international environmental law; environmental theories; international obligations; selected environmental treaties; and the relationship of the environment with other international law issues.

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6. International Human Rights Law  

Human rights are a matter of international law, as the rights of humans do not depend on an individual’s nationality and so the protection of these rights cannot be limited to the jurisdiction of any one State. This chapter introduces the principal ideas, issues and framework of international human rights law. It discusses human rights theories; human rights and the international community; international protection of human rights; regional human rights protections; limitations on the human rights treaty obligations of States; the right of self-determination; and the protection of human rights by non-State actors.

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6. Immunity from national jurisdiction and diplomatic protection  

This chapter discusses the different forms of immunity from national jurisdiction enjoyed by a state and its representatives. It presents state immunity and the complicated distinction between sovereign (jure imperii) and commercial (jure gestionis) acts. It discusses the exception to state immunity for commercial acts; provides an overview of some of the additional exceptions to state immunity; and discusses the immunities of state representatives. It distinguishes between immunity ratione personae and immunity ratione materiae and discusses how the distinction is applied to different state representatives. It also discusses the immunities of diplomatic representatives and diplomatic missions as well as the issue of consular protection and the immunities enjoyed by so-called special missions.

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7. State responsibility  

This chapter discusses the international law of responsibility as primarily reflected in the 2001 International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. It opens in Section 7.2 with an overview of some of the core principles and elements of state responsibility for wrongful acts. Section 7.3 discusses the issue of state attribution before Section 7.4 examines joint and collective responsibility. Section 7.5 discusses the various circumstances that may preclude the wrongfulness of conduct otherwise in violation of a (primary) legal obligation. Section 7.6 looks into the consequences of state responsibility while Section 7.7 discusses who may be entitled to invoke state responsibility. Section 7.8 examines the rules on diplomatic protection and Section 7.9 provides a brief overview of the responsibility of international organizations.

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9. International human rights law  

This chapter discusses the system of human rights protection that has emerged since the end of the Second World War. It begins in Section 9.2 with the primary sources of human rights law before Section 9.3 discusses the different categories of human rights. Section 9.4 discusses the obligation on states to offer protection from acts of private actors. Section 9.5 provides an overview of the enforcement mechanisms in the UN and Section 9.6 focuses on the regional protection of human rights. Section 9.7 discusses the territorial scope of human rights treaties and Section 9.8 concerns the application of human rights in times of public emergency. Section 9.8 provides an overview of the international legal protection of refugees.

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Cover International Law

6. Immunity from national jurisdiction and diplomatic protection  

This chapter discusses the different forms of immunity from national jurisdiction enjoyed by a state and its representatives. It presents state immunity and the complicated distinction between sovereign (jure imperii) and commercial (jure gestionis) acts. It discusses the exception to state immunity for commercial acts; provides an overview of some of the additional exceptions to state immunity; and discusses the immunities of state representatives. It distinguishes between immunity ratione personae and immunity ratione materiae and discusses how the distinction is applied to different state representatives. It also discusses the immunities of diplomatic representatives and diplomatic missions as well as the issue of consular protection and the immunities enjoyed by so-called special missions.

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Cover International Law

7. State responsibility  

This chapter discusses the international law of responsibility as primarily reflected in the 2001 International Law Commission’s Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. It opens in Section 7.2 with an overview of some of the core principles and elements of state responsibility for wrongful acts. Section 7.3 discusses the issue of state attribution before Section 7.4 examines joint and collective responsibility. Section 7.5 discusses the various circumstances that may preclude the wrongfulness of conduct otherwise in violation of a (primary) legal obligation. Section 7.6 looks into the consequences of state responsibility while Section 7.7 discusses who may be entitled to invoke state responsibility. Section 7.8 examines the rules on diplomatic protection and Section 7.9 provides a brief overview of the responsibility of international organizations.

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11. Diplomatic protection and issues of standing  

This chapter discusses the notion of ‘diplomatic protection’, or the idea that a State may espouse the claims of its nationals and claim on their behalf. Because diplomatic protection by a State to persons necessarily extends beyond its territory, its exercise has potential ramifications for the sovereignty of other States. Certain rules have therefore emerged to avoid the uncomfortable situation where States submit legal claims as a strategic tool in international relations. Many of these are reflected in the Articles on Diplomatic Protection proposed by the International Law Commission (ILC) in 2006. In such situations, even if locus standi or ‘standing’ can be established, the admissibility of a claim before an international tribunal is precluded. The chapter then studies the rules relating to the admissibility of claims of diplomatic protection.

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16. International human rights and refugee law  

This chapter addresses international human rights and refugee law. In 1948, the General Assembly adopted the famed Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Many of its provisions have influenced the adoption of major multilateral treaties, or have come to reflect customary international law, at times through influencing the drafting of State constitutions. The UDHR has also been referred to by international courts to give weight to, or to interpret, obligations contained in other treaties. Two overarching covenants were also adopted separately in 1966: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). In parallel with the emergence of human rights protection at the international level, several regional frameworks exist. The chapter then looks at the European, American, and African human rights conventions and accompanying institutions.

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19. The protection of the environment  

This chapter studies the development of international environmental law. A significant proportion of international environmental law obligations is contained in treaties, which often provide for institutional mechanisms or procedural obligations for their implementation. There exists a dense network of treaty obligations relating to environmental protection, and to specific sectors such as climate change, the conservation of endangered species, or the handling of toxic materials. Indeed, though customary international law knows of no general legal obligation to protect and preserve the environment, certain customary rules nevertheless have been found in specific treaties, case law, and occasionally even soft law instruments. The most significant such rule is the principles of prevention, often taking the form of the ‘good neighbour’ principle. States are required to exercise due diligence in preventing their territory from being used in such a way so as to cause significant damage to the environment of another state.