Legal Committee Overlapping Jurisdiction of International Law - IDIA
Rutgers Model United Nations 13 issue be addressed in a way that allows the benefits of international law to be maximized, while marginalizing the difficulties that its fragmented nature presents. Bloc Positions European Union The European Union, established in 1992, currently includes twenty-seven member states, and has a distinctive system of law. European Union law exists within a supranational legal framework, which is lacking on a worldwide scale. In a sense, its establishment marked a “new legal order of international law.” 17 Although the European Union is not a sovereign government in and of itself, it closely resembles a federal system in many ways. Laws passed by member states at the national level take effect so long as the issues the laws deal with are best dealt with in that realm of government. However, in this system, law passed by the European Union as a whole is supreme in its own realm and can supersede and override the laws of its constituent nations. This negation power extends even to national constitutions. In many ways, this system mirrors traditional international law in that it is regarded as supreme unless a more specific exception or clarification is made to it. In a sense, the European Union has also encountered and dealt with expansion of its laws, as new member states have been continually added since its establishment. World Trade Organization The World Trade Organization (WTO) stands at the forefront of the debate over the fragmentation of international law. The WTO crafts a significant amount of legislation and agreements between member states. These agreements impact a wide variety of areas of international law which stem from trade law. In many cases, these implications go well beyond the norms of trade and tariff laws. Interconnected with its vast amount of trade regulations are laws that will inevitably touch on environmental, intellectual property, taxation, human rights, public house issues, all of which stand to 17 Van Gend en Loos v. Nederlanse Administratie Der Belastingen, EU-LEX, Accessed January 25, 2007.
Rutgers Model United Nations 14 come under the scope of international regulation. This is particularly relevant in that whenever new international law, treaties, or even domestic law is enacted, it is likely that it falls, somehow, under the purview of the WTO. 18 Another feature of the WTO that makes it a top authority regarding issues of expansion and diversification of international law is the built in system for solving disputes arising within the Organization’s framework. Unlike in many other international organizations, states are forced to undergo rigorous and highly technical dispute settlement processes whenever a question of interpretation or application arises. As a result of this, the WTO offers a great deal of jurisprudence not only on trade law, but on many other facets of international law. 19 The WTO is actively taking a part in dispute settlement, and recent cases range from genetically modified food trading to online gambling. African Union The African Union was established in 2001, and members of the African Union include every nation on the African continent with the exception of Morocco. The African Union performs numerous functions and plays a significant role in addressing the various problems that have plagued the continent in modern times. Much like the European Union, the African Union has a number of purposes, including maintaining unity throughout the continent and eliminating discord while promoting the advancement of inter-African affairs. By promoting economic, social, and governmental unity, the African Union seeks to address the immediate and long-term needs of Africans on a continental and international basis. The principal organ of the African Union is the Assembly, which consists of heads of state or the heads of government of each member state in the African Union. The Assembly sets policy and decides which action is to be taken in regards to suggestions and reports from the various other organs of the organization. The Assembly is gradually delegating its authority over these matters to the Pan-African Parliament, which consists 18 Joost Pauwelyn, Introductory Report on the World Trade Organization, May 2005, Unity and Fragmentation of International Law. 19 Ibid