South and East Asian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

A Japanese approach to international law

Territorial disputes and investment dispute settlements

In Japan, only a few academic scholars are aware of the plurality of academic scholarly perspectives. Most others do not think that their methods are different from the Western methods. This phenomenon is visible in international law study too. Such an attitude is not groundless. Japanese international law scholars are more internationalized than domestic law scholars. Most of them understand two or three European languages well, have experience of studying …


Current DevelopmentsResponse

Plausibility and the ICJ

A response to Somos and Sparks

Since the ICJ’s 2001 decision in LaGrand (Germany v US), the Court’s jurisprudence on provisional measures indicated under Article 41 of its Statute has expanded dramatically. This is for two reasons—both, in my mind, connected to LaGrand. In the first place, with the Court having declared its provisional measures binding, it was incumbent upon it to ensure their requirements were clear and predictable. In the second (and in view of …


Current Developments

The urgent, the plausible and the irreparable

The significance of lowering ICJ thresholds for provisional measures

The ICJ’s decision on Iran’s application for provisional measures in its high-profile proceedings against the United States of America for alleged violations of their 1955 Treaty of Amity was handed down on Wednesday. This tightly constrained and circumscribed stage of the proceedings, though only a precursor to the far more significant jurisdictional and merits stages—each of which has the potential to ask questions with lasting significance for international law and …


Alternative Dispute ResolutionSymposium

Strengthening the means of (international) law enforcement

Symposium on alternative dispute resolution

Today, a vast array of treaties exists, both multilateral and bilateral. They regulate almost every aspect of human interaction and cover such diverse fields as the environment, trade, outer-space, human rights, organized crime and terrorism. For example, over 560 multilateral treaties are deposited with the UN Secretary General alone and more than 2000 bilateral investment treaties exist. The majority of these treaties are concerned with standard setting, that is, the …


Labour Standards in a Globalised EconomySymposium

Individual labour complaint procedures in future free trade agreements?

In their posts, Tonia Novitz and Patrick Abel mention the idea of enhancing the procedural role for individuals in labour disputes as a means to foster the enforcement of labour provisions in international trade agreements. In this post, I will enquire whether individuals should be given an opportunity to pursue their claims in an individual complaints procedure for labour matters in the context of free trade agreements (FTAs), rather than …


Labour Standards in a Globalised EconomySymposium

Systemic deficiencies of US FTAs’ arbitral labour dispute settlement procedures

The lack of arbitral practice has been the subject of intense analysis in international economic law.

Deciding international disputes solely on the basis of law while excluding economic and political aspects of power, at least to a large extent, is a concept which can suit arguments between powerful and less powerful states. From this perspective, US free trade agreements are an interesting research topic. Remarkably, from earlier FTAs such as the NAFTA labour side agreement, the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC), to more recent FTAs …