Public International Law

Understanding the World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention has managed to put in place an inventory, a list of properties of universal value, requiring the most absolute protection. Through judicial, administrative and financial cooperation, the concept of world heritage is highlighted and transcends all borders, both political and geographical.

The extraterritoriality of American law

The extraterritoriality of American law is the capacity that the United States of America gives itself to enact standards applicable to persons, natural or legal, not American. It is illustrated in several fields, in particular that of international corruption where American standards are imposed thanks to a recurrent application of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.

Understanding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an American law passed in 1977 aimed at combating the bribery of foreign public officials. This law follows an investigation in the 1970s by the American regulator (Securities and Exchange Commission) in the context of the Watergate scandal.

Understanding jus soli and jus sanguinis

The jus sanguinis makes descent the criterion of automatic acquisition of nationality, conceived as a heritage which is transmitted to the descendants. The jus soli is based on the place of birth of the individual.

What is UNIDROIT?

UNIDROIT is an intergovernmental organisation situated in Rome and whose objective is to harmonise international private law across countries through uniform rules, international conventions, and the production of model laws, sets of principles, guides and guidelines. Established in 1926 as part of the League of Nations, it was reestablished in 1940.

Understanding the Fisheries Case

In the Fisheries Case of 1951, the dispute is over a maritime area where fishing was an important resource: the point was to figure out how much of that maritime zone was Norwegian, and how much was considered as high seas, meaning that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland could freely fish in this zone.

Can astronauts vote in space?

Currently, only American astronauts can vote from outer space. Indeed, in 1997, the State of Texas passed a law which allows American astronauts to cast their ballots from outer space, from the International Space Station (ISS), and even if they were further out, like on Mars.

Understanding the Asylum Case

Is Colombia competent, as the country that grants asylum, to unilaterally qualify the offence for the purpose of asylum under treaty law and international law? In this specific case, was Peru, as the territorial State, bound to give a guarantee of safe passage?

Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons

By a letter from December 19, 1994, the Secretary-General of the United Nations officially communicated to the Registry a decision taken by the General Assembly to submit to the Court, for advisory opinion, the following question: “Is the threat or use of nuclear weapons in any circumstance permitted under international law?”

The definition of actio popularis

In Roman law, actio popularis was defined as “A legal instrument allowing any citizen to denounce before a judge facts relating to public order or public property”. Actio popularis was characterised by the attribution to all Roman citizens of the right to defend collective or common interests in court.

Towards the taxation of LEO activities?

Taxation of LEO activities seems to be a solution. The appropriate model could be the following one: if a State A wants to launch a satellite or a constellation of satellites, it will have to pay X depending on the orbit (and how already saturated and used the orbit is), the size of the space object or the number of space objects, and finally and why not, depending on its intended purposes (whether scientific, commercial, military…).

The Export Administration Regulations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department. In general, the EAR govern what a person may export from the U.S., re-export the item from a foreign country, or transfer an item from one person to another, in a foreign country.

The doctrine of clean hands in Public International Law

“Fraus omnia corrumpit”, a Latin locution, is a founding principle of law, and is the founding of the doctrine of clean hands, also known as the “dirty hand doctrine”. It literally translates into: “The fraud corrupts everything”, meaning that the fraudster shouldn’t draw any benefit from a situation where the law is used for something it forbids.

The conditions for speaking of a State in Public International Law

In Public International Law, the State is defined by three constituent elements: a population, a territory and a governmental organisation. The population within the meaning of Public International Law consists of persons attached to the State by a legal bond: nationality.

Nicaragua v. United States

In the case of Nicaragua v. United States of America, concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua, the Court had first to make a judgement on its jurisdiction. On November 26, 1984, the United States Government has invoked a number of reasons for trying to escape international justice.

Understanding the Barcelona Traction case

The judgement of 1970 is a fundamental one in the way that it expressed this notion of erga omnes that is now considered as one of the pillar of the international law. The notion of erga omnes is associated with the notion of jus cogens which corresponds to a fundamental principle, considered as universal and superior to which no derogation can be granted.

Lex generalis and lex specialis

In international relations and more specifically in space law, issues of general law and special law, or lex generalis and lex specialis, are recurrent. Lex specialis is a Latin phrase which means “law governing a specific subject matter”. It comes from the legal maxim “lex specialis derogat legi generali”. This doctrine relates to the interpretation of laws. It can apply in both domestic and international law contexts.

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity brings together, under the auspices of the United Nations, one hundred and ninety-six countries participating in international negotiations on the preservation of biodiversity. The Convention entered into force on December 29, 1993.

Is naming stars legal?

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have asked ourselves the following question: is naming stars legal? There are services which will let you name a star in the sky after a loved one. You can commemorate a special day, or the life of an amazing person. But can you really name a star? Is it legal?

The Guano Islands Act

The Guano Islands Act, a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1856, enables citizens of the United States of America to take possession, in the name of the United States of America, of unclaimed islands containing guano (the accumulated excrement of seabirds) deposits.