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What are international mass claims commissions?

Righting Wrongs after Conflict

Lea Brilmayer, Chiara Giorgetti and Lorraine Charlton

International Mass Claims Commissions (IMCCs) are ad hoc bodies whose structure, jurisdiction, procedure and ability to provide remedy vary considerably. Chapter 1 analyses their common features, including the fact that IMCCs are ad hoc binding dispute resolution mechanisms, which are structured and act like judicial bodies. They are created after an event of international relevance, and are international law instruments which engage the responsibility of states. The chapter clarifies the differences between IMCCs and other similar domestic and international mechanisms that may share some, but not all, of the characteristics of IMCCs. It offers an historical overview of IMCCs and an initial introduction to the most relevant modern examples of IMCCs, including the Iran–US Claims Tribunal, the United Nations Compensation Commission and the Eritrea–Ethiopia Claims Commission. List of Keywords: definition of claims commission, characteristics of claims commissions, differences between IMCCs and other similar instruments, historical IMCCs, Iran–US Claims Tribunal, United Nations Compensation Commission and the Eritrea–Ethiopia Claims Commission.

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Theoretical background

Challenges and Perspectives

Vassilis Pergantis

Chapter 1 presents the theoretical premises upon which the book is based. It invokes and exploits critical theory by focusing on the binary constructions permeating the law of treaties discourse, such as the tension between individualism and collective interest, the juxtapositions between esoteric and manifested intent and the oscillation between the negotium and the instrumentum. The delineation of the theoretical framework and the discursive techniques employed allows the showcasing of both the binary and transformational characters of those tensions, as well as how they shape the discussion on challenges to the treaty concept and the paradigm of state consent in the cases discussed further down in the book. Keywords: individualism; communitarianism; formalism; negotium; instrumentum; State consent; critical approach

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Setting the scene

The Case of Individual Victims of Human Rights Violations

Pierre Schmitt

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Lea Brilmayer, Chiara Giorgetti and Lorraine Charlton

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Larissa van den Herik

This chapter introduces the Research Handbook on UN Sanctions and International Law. The Research Handbook studies UN sanctions in a holistic manner so as to identify cross-cutting issues and common challenges, be they substantive, procedural, practical or political, and to gauge general trends. One trend that can currently be witnessed across regimes may be a partial return to more comprehensive sanctions. Another trend, to some extent related, is the rise of unilateral sanctions, particularly also EU regional sanctions, raising questions of interaction between parallel sanctions regimes. This Research Handbook examines interplays and synergies between UN sanctions and unilateral measures and it explores the different legal frameworks that shape and govern these respective regimes. The Research Handbook frames the analyses of UN sanctions through the notions of ‘individualization’ and ‘formalization’. These notions are introduced in this chapter. In the context of individualization, the legal basis for the Security Council to impose sanctions on actors other than States is discussed as well as the sliding scale from comprehensive to targeted sanctions, evoking the question whether there are also different shades of individualization. The chapter proposes a loose notion of ‘formalization’ as capturing sites where substantive or institutional norms or other rule of law considerations have infused the political setting in which UN sanctions operate. The notion is thus used to offer a shared vocabulary allowing for cross-cutting observations. After introducing those notions, the chapter maps the contents of the Handbook and offers a tentative outlook on the future role and position of UN sanctions. Keywords UN sanctions, individualization, formalization, interplay with EU sanctions

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Bulk fresh water resources and the GATT

Bulk Fresh Water, Irrigation Subsidies and Virtual Water

Fitzgerald Temmerman

In the near future, climate change and global warming could trigger international trade in (bulk) fresh water on a far larger scale then is presently already the case. In this context, the question whether bulk fresh water is to be considered as a ‘good’ or a ‘product’, falling under the ambit of the GATT, is highly controversial. In fact, no decisive legal arguments against such an inclusion currently exist. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, legal scholars advocate formally excluding bulk fresh water from falling under the ambit of the GATT. Could such a scenario, if not utopian, effectively hinder international trade in bulk fresh water from developing, once the need is there? Excluding bulk fresh water from the ambit of the GATT is perhaps not to be considered as particularly compelling, since the WTO framework potentially offers sufficient leeway to effectively take into account non-trade concerns, such as environmental rights and the right to water. KEYWORDS: Climate change – global warming – water – trade – WTO – GATT

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John Cerone

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William Schabas

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Joanna R. Quinn

The chapter traces the development of transitional justice (TJ), focusing on four of the most widely used instruments of TJ (criminal prosecutions, reparations, amnesty and truth-telling). It then outlines the development of TJ approaches and instruments around the world. Those same four commonly used instruments are utilized as a means of comparing experiences across continents. Finally, the chapter considers the ‘growing pains’ of the scholarship and practice of transitional justice. The questions raised have arisen because the field has matured to the extent that critical questions can and must be asked. Six of these are considered: deepening international engagement; the effect of contagion; simultaneity and the problems it brings; the call to address economic, social and cultural rights; the limits of what transitional justice can actually address; and the parameters of the transition in question. Origins and development of transitional justice; Europe; Latin America; Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia.