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Legal Committee Overlapping Jurisdiction of International Law - IDIA

Legal Committee Overlapping Jurisdiction of International Law - IDIA

Rutgers Model United

Rutgers Model United Nations 7 older law is replaced by newer law can sometimes obstruct the clear interpretation of which laws are more specific and which more general. This conflict becomes a vital aspect of the fragmentation issue when compared to the nature of self-contained regimes, or specialized fields of international law. The problem arises when nations with increasing frequency enter into treaties that deal with these more specific areas of international law. In many of these cases general international law is contradicted or overridden, undermining its authority through contradiction and uncertain jurisdiction. Self-contained regimes are generally instituted with a specific purpose, and in any case, are at the very least more specific than the intentions of general law. In this manner, self-contained regimes are generally considered to have been instituted with a purpose more targeted than that of general law. For this reason, the laws of self-contained regimes are generally interpreted in regards to this purpose of their institution, rather than exclusively on the nature of the laws themselves when compared to general law. Special laws will almost always be narrower in scope than their general counterparts. To this end, there are often gaps left in the specialized laws. Generally, it is the role of general international law to fill in these gaps left by specialized law. Furthermore, in many cases the law of self-contained regimes might fail. This failure can be measured by a number of factors ranging from the withdrawal of a significant number of the regimes initial state supporters, open failure on the part of many to comply with the laws of regime, or the realities leading to the institution of the regime no longer necessitating its existence. In addition, the Study Group also investigated the interpretation of treaties between states and the means by which this should be accomplished in light of the everchanging nature of international law. The Study Group also examined how the expansion and diversification of international law influenced the ratification of successive treaties by states. The Study Group discussed how the issue influenced the adjustment of multilateral treaties by only certain of the original states.

Rutgers Model United Nations 8 Conflicts often arise out of the diversification and expansion of international law. Great numbers of these conflicts pose threats to the cohesiveness and unity of international law, but what constitutes a contradiction in the vast realm of these laws remains somewhat unclear. A certain view holds that is not truly possible for treaties and laws dealing with different realms to contradict one another. This view stems from the notion that, for instance, ‘trade law’ and ‘refugee law,’ due to their different natures and varying jurisdictions, cannot truly contradict one another. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties adopts this view, stating ways to deal with treaties that conflict that are of the same subject matter, while remaining relatively silent on the topic of conflicting unrelated treaties. This silence offers a number of difficulties, however, as the categorizations of specialized international law are merely that, labels of the general aims of the regime. This classification system means relatively little in practical implementation of the treaty however, as the contents of the agreement are what truly guides the execution and legal meaning of the treaty. For instance, in many cases, laws may touch upon a number of different spectra of international law, and treaties and international organizations can attempt to codify vast amounts and varieties of law. In these cases, many hindrances arise uncovering the exact meaning of the aspects of the treaty and how it relates to general international law and other self-contained regimes the nations might be party to. As stated in Article 30 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: The requirement that the instruments must relate to the same subject-matter seems to raise extremely difficult problems in theory, but may turn out not to be so very difficult in practice. If an attempted simultaneous application of two rules to one set of facts or actions leads to incompatible results it can safely be assumed that the test of sameness is satisfied. 9 Systemic integration refers to the means by which a treaty should be interpreted through the general lens of international law. An interpreter of a treaty should take into account “any relevant rules of international law applicable in relations between the parties.” This, in a basic sense, affirms the notion that all treaties are instruments of 9 Joost Pauwelyn, Conflict of Norms: How WTO Law Relates to other Rules of International Law.” Cambridge University Press. 2003.

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