What legitimizes states’ exclusive control over natural resources that are found within their territory? What justifies their claim for an exclusive right to regulate the flow of displaced people into their jurisdiction and to determine who to admit and who to exclude?
The Duty to Provide Humanitarian Assistance in the Event of Disaster is increasingly the subject of study and action, by governments, international organizations and scholars. The Institut de droit international has issued a Resolution on this topic in 2003 (the Bruges Resolution on Humanitarian Assistance), and the International Law Commission (ILC) has been working on draft articles on the Protection of Persons in the Event of Disaster since 2007 and has already adopted 21 draft articles on first reading. Furthermore, in 2014 the ILC decided to transmit the draft articles adopted on first reading to governments and several international organizations (the ICRC) for comments and observations.
The topic raises questions of sovereign responsibility to those individuals affected by the disaster: both the responsibility of the authorities in the affected state and the responsibility of other states.
We are grateful to Judge Kenneth Keith of the International Court of Justice for sharing with us his “Natural Disasters and International Law – A Preliminary Note” which he presented at the Tokyo Session of the Institut de droit international (September 2013). This preliminary note describes and evaluates the emerging efforts to progressively develop the law in this area.
The obligation of states to take foreign interests seriously into account, if recognized, calls upon national regulators to assess the impact of their policies on foreign stakeholders and be accountable to them. This is where the disciplines of constitutional and administrative law, developed in response to domestic demand for accountability, come into play with their panoply of procedural norms and institutional mechanisms that structure public decision-making. Continue reading
The “public trust” doctrine or equivalent doctrines have been invoked in several national legal systems to assert community interests over natural resources such as navigable waters and the seashore, which must remain accessible for everybody. The idea of a “collective trusteeship” of states for the integrity of the global environment and common areas such as the oceans, atmosphere and outer space has also inspired scholars and activists who helped framing the evolution of international environmental law. Continue reading
Underlying the concept of the responsibility to protect (or R2P) is the recognition that “sovereignty implies responsibility.” This is understood to imply that a primary obligation of states is to protect their respective populations from serious human rights violations. When the state is unwilling or unable to protect its people, so goes the argument, it then becomes the responsibility of the international community to act in its place. It is then that the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect according to international law.
A Digest of Sources
Prepared for the GlobalTrust Project
By Tamar Ben-Artzi
(Updated February 2015)
2. Academic Articles
3. UN Treaty Bodies’ General Comments
4. Additional Documents by UN Treaty Bodies
5. Documents by Academic and Independent Human Rights Experts and UN Special Mandate-Holders
6. Selected Case Law
7. Jurisdiction Articles in Selected Human Rights Treaties
8. Additional Resources
For data bases and information about legal centers dealing with refugee law see here (descriptions are in Hebrew) (sponsored by GlobalTrust)