Rutgers Model United Nations 15 of members elected from constituencies throughout the continent. Currently, the body has an advisory and consultative role; however, it will accede to full legislative status in the year 2009. 20 The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights serves as the chief judicial body of the African Union. The Commission predates the African Union itself, and its authority therefore does proceed from the AU; nonetheless, the commission reports to and works within the confines of the body. The Commission has a strong interpretive role of human rights treaties and is often called upon to exercise this power in relation to pressing issues on the continent. In the future, its role will be taken over by the African Court of Justice, which will have broader authority to clarify and interpret a wide variety of treaties and accords made among nations as well as law of the African Union itself. 20 “About the Pan-African Parliament,” Pan-African Parliament, 12 March, 2007, http://www.pan-africanparliament.org/index2.htm.
Rutgers Model United Nations 16 Summary International law has long established, in some form, the norms and codes to which nations must adhere in their dealings with one another. These peaceful dealings can lead to periods of sustained and mutually benefits under the law. Fragmentation of international law is by no means a recent phenomenon. As the world is drawn closer together by the forces of globalization the issues that plague nations and their people take on an increasingly global significance. The interconnectedness of the many issues that plague society necessitates that nations work together to alleviate these problems. The United Nations embodies this principle and thus has a decided interest in assuring that the rule of law and peace called for in its Charter is maintained throughout the world. As international law develops into more specific categories and away from exclusively general customs that have guided it for so long, the threat of a loss of unity looms. Many critics are legitimately concerned that new regimes will have less and less to do with one another and eventually develop into entirely new and contradicting systems. Instead of international law, international laws will prevail. They fear that these divergent systems will result increasingly in states seeking out venues that are likely to favor their needs based upon the laws that they purport to be binding. Also, as law fragments on a regional basis, as evidenced in the European Union and in certain other regions, it further thrusts apart a cohesive view of international law in place of regional aspirations and goals that often do not jive with, and often directly contradict, earlier precedents. It is important to recall that these differentiations are not the result of a set of some sort of inadvertent mistakes, but rather are purposefully crafted to alter the system that exists under general law. With these themes in mind, the LegalCommittee must consider the principles that dictate the ways in which international law is interpreted and implement them in a way that confronts the topic of overlapping of laws. By looking critically at the problem and its sources, a conclusion should be reached that envisages the key elements of international law and its creation and application.