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International Law and International Organization. GLOBAL GOVERNANCE. Today. International law International organization. General remarks: from cooperation to global governance. Why states cooperate to coexist to avoid greater evils to achieve the national interest

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International law and international organization

International Law and

International Organization




  • International law

  • International organization

General remarks from cooperation to global governance
General remarks: from cooperation to global governance

  • Why states cooperate

    • to coexist

    • to avoid greater evils

    • to achieve the national interest

  • How states cooperate

    • diplomacy

    • international law and international organization

  • Global governance

    • norms

    • rules

    • predictability

Sources of international law
Sources of international law

The signing of the Peace of Westphalia

Customary practices


Court decisions & legal scholarship

General principles of law

When is war legal jus ad bellum
When is war legal?Jus ad bellum


Procedures & conditions

specified in the law

concerning the use

of armed force

by states


Political & moral

justifications to operate

outside the law (may be

recognized by others)


  • Legality vs. legitimacy

  • United Nations Security Council’s role

    • UN Charter, Ch. VII

    • authorize war (or not)

    • determine how to respond

What is legal during war jus in bello
What is legal during war? Jus in bello

  • Four Geneva Conventions

    • 1864, 1907: wounded combatants & the sick

    • 1929: conditions of war prisoners & the shipwrecked

    • 1949: rights of prisoners of war & the shipwrecked

    • 1949: protection of civilians in war

  • Tribunal: the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Enforcing international law the international criminal court icc
Enforcing international law: theInternational Criminal Court (ICC)


18 judges elected for 9 years by the Members of the ICC by 2/3 majority.

  • In force July 1, 2002

  • Tries natural persons only

  • Areas of responsibility

    • crime of genocide

    • crimes against humanity

    • war crimes (committed during war)

    • crime of aggression* (starting a war)

  • Subsidiarity principle

Enforcing international law the international court of justice icj
Enforcing international law: the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

15 judges elected for 9 years by simple majority by:

- UN General Assembly

- UN Security Council

In separate votes

Main international tribunal

Tries states only

Members: same as UN*

Compulsory jurisdiction


The problem of enforcement
The problem of enforcement

  • Sovereignty remains the basic rule (Ch. I, art. 2(1) of UN Charter)

  • Determining factors in compliance

    • goodwill of states

    • national interest

    • state power

    • public opinion (domestic & foreign)

    • other governments’ opinion

A definition
A definition

“formal arrangement transcending national boundaries that provides for the establishment of institutional machinery to facilitate cooperation among members in security, economic, social or related fields”, Plano and Olton quoted in Sens and Stoett, Global Politics, p. 153.



organization (NGO)


organization (IGO)

Public vs. private

Multipurpose, universal

Multipurpose, regional

Functional (specialized)

Special case:supranational organization

Sustained institutionalized cooperation
Sustained & institutionalized cooperation


- A moral person

- Created by treaty*

- Headquarters

- Public service

- State delegates

- Regular sessions

* If it is a public international organization (see previous slide).

  • Management of complex relations

  • Permanent contacts, channels for cooperation & negotiations

    • implementation of existing treaties

    • mediation

    • organization of summits

The united nations un
The United Nations (UN)


Two-tier membership

Mechanisms: mediation & collective security

A multifunctional, universal international organization

General assembly
General Assembly

193 members

A forum for deliberation

States, large & small, rich & poor

The meaningfulness of GA resolutions

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

addressing the General Assembly

Security council
Security Council


5 permanent members (P-5)

10 non-permanent members

Contested membership

Current US ambassador

to the UN Susan Rice

The secretariat the secretary general

Ban Ki-moon

In office 2007—

The Secretariat &the Secretary General

Daily running of the organization

Headed by the Secretary General

Appointed by the General Assembly on recommendation of the Security Council

The Secretary-General’s status


  • General problems

    • number of employees & complex procedures

    • money (salaries, perks, etc.)

    • lack of cooperation in Security Council

  • Specific problems

    • Oil for Food Program (1990s)

    • Libya as chair of the Human Rights Commission (2003)

    • sexual abuse & forced prostitution by UN Peacekeepers (1990s & early 2000s)


States cooperate through multiple channels

They formalize cooperation in international law

They institutionalize cooperation in international organizations

But states retain their sovereignty to act in their interest

NB: try not to be too cynical

Appendix reform proposals for the un security council
Appendix: Reform proposals for the UN Security Council

Model A(24 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

6 new permanent without veto*

13 non-permanent

*1 for Europe, 1 for the Americas & Caribbean, 2 for Africa, 2 for Asia

Blue Model (20 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

3 non-permanent for 3 or 4-yr term*

12 non-permanent*

* Renewable or not (not determined yet)

Regional Model(25 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

10 permanent without veto according to regions*

10 non-permanent

* Choice of regional member to be decided by states from those regions

Model B(24 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

8 non-permanent renewable (4-yr term)

11 non-permanent

Green Model(20 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

15 non-permanent renewable

Panama Proposal(21 seats)

5 permanent members with veto

6 non-permanent for 5-yr term renewable according to regions*

10 non permanent

* 1 for Latin America & Caribbean, 1 for W. Europe & other, 2 for Africa, 2 for Asia. If a state is renewed 4 times, it becomes permament without veto. In time, the veto for the P-5 would be eliminated.