MIDTERM REVIEW OF THE UN DECADE
ON INTERNATIONAL LAW:
Let me begin by thanking Professor Sompong SUCHARITKUL of Golden Gate School
of Law for responding to my requests for op-eds by our membership. What follows is an
effervescent and scholarly midterm review of the UN Decade of International Law:
LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FIRST HALF
Golden Gate University School of Law
San Francisco, March 22, 1996
OF THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
THE UNITED NATIONS DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
This year marks the half-way point in the closing decade of the twentieth century, which by
Assembly Resolution 44/23 has been proclaimed "THE DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL
On September 12, 1990, the Secretary-General of the United Nations presented his first
report on this
item containing the initial reactions gathered from the views of member States, international
non-governmental bodies pursuant to paragraph 3 of that Resolution. A consensus appeared
emerged that the program of actions for the Decade including the plan to convene a Third Hague
Conference in 1999 should be "generally acceptable, well defined and action
oriented", and at the
same time "concrete and realistic" without duplicating the work of existing
The main purposes of the Decade, as defined in the Resolution, are:-
- (a) To promote the acceptance of and respect for the principles of international law;
- (b) To promote means and methods for the peaceful settlement of disputes between States,
including resort to and full respect for the International Court of Justice;
- (c) To encourage the progressive development of international law and its
- (d) To encourage the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international
Reactions of States, as gathered and reflected in the first Secretary-General's report in 1990,
mixed. The Western European countries and others appeared more reserved than countries
formerly known as
"socialist", such as the Russian Federation, China, Cuba and Bulgaria. The West appeared less
eage r and
generally reluctant to begin the Decade with great expectations. The European Union Members
useful to review the progress of the program in the mid nineties. China and the Russian
convening a Third Peace Conference to adopt a new Convention on Pacific Settlement of
to pave the way for the passing of the twentieth century and to welcome the third millennium.
The decade of the nineteen eighties had witnessed a paradoxical transition, a change of attitude
rather an exchange of position between the West and former socialist countries. As the latter
began to show
greater respect for and reliance on the United Nations with the overwhelming support from the
world which for all practical purposes consisted of the Group of 77 and the non-aligned nations,
the West, most
of all the United States and its closest Western allies, appeared more disenchanted with, if not
disillusioned by, the stand taken by some Specialized Agencies of the United Nations as well as
Five years have elapsed since the Decade started and after five annual reports by the United
Secretary-General, it is time for a mid-term review of the progress made, if any, at least in some
of primary interest and concern to the international community, especially in the Asian-Pacific
region of the
During each of the past five years of the United Nations Decade of
International Law, States
and International Organizations have provided their responses to the Secretary-General which are
systematically included in his annual reports of which the latest one in 1995 is contained in
of August 30, 1995, item 143 of the provisional agenda of the General Assembly. Thus far the
Decade has been organized into inclusive two-year terms: first term 1990-1992; second term
third term 1995-1996.
In 1994, the General Assembly invited all States under Resolution 49/50 to disseminate widely
guidelines for military manuals and instructions on the protection of the environment in times of
 received from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and to give due
consideration to the
possibility of incorporating them into their military manuals and other instructions addressed to
personnel. The ICRC continues to report on activities undertaken with regard to the protection
environment in times of armed conflict.
States have been invited to submit suggestions for consideration by the Sixth Committee of the
Assembly, in particular, with regard to the areas of international law which States considered ripe
codification or progressive development. International Organizations have been encouraged to
report to the
Secretary-General on ways and means for implementing multilateral treaties to which they are
States and International Organizations have been encouraged to publish summaries, repertoires,
of their practice.
The 1995 Report of the Secretary-General includes responses received from (a) 2 States:
Cook Islands and Cyprus; and (b) 14 International Organizations. The paucity of reports from
testifies to the lack of enthusiasm which States display in comparison to the dedication of
organizations to the object and purposes of the United Nations Decade of International law.
While the United Nations activities regarding the Decade are generally available, especially
for activities in the field of progressive development of international law and its codification
International Law Commission and other norm-formulating bodies and specialized agencies, such
UNCITRAL, WHO, ILO, FAO and UNESCO. Activities of other organizations, governmental
and non-governmental such as UNIDROIT, the Hague Conference on the Unification of Rules of
Law, the Institut de Droit International and the International Law Association reveal ample
evidence of the
achievements and works still in progress in important specified areas.
The American Society of International Law in its capacity as a Non-Governmental
Organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, regularly publishes newsletters for its
Group on the United Nations Decade of International Law. In the summer of 1995, the
celebration of the
signing of the Charter, coinciding with the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, took place
Francisco, as an event organized by the Northwest Region of the Society which now includes
California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia. Professor Homer Angelo, our
Coordinator, was responsible for the organization of that memorable event.
Last but not least, it should be added that in 1995 the American Society of International
also published among other regular journals and international legal materials a special series of
Transnational Legal Policy. Number 27 concerns precisely the kind of survey of State practice
the United Nations. The publication of "National Treaty Law and Practice" covering six
coincided with the celebration of the Fiftieth anniversary of the San Francisco Charter. Its first
contains six essays on the law and practice of major legal systems: France, Germany, India,
Thailand and the United Kingdom. As a Regional Coordinator of the Society and as a member of
Faculty of Law, I am honored to have contributed to the production of this first volume. Chapter
V gives a
survey of the Treaty Law and Practice of Thailand. The studies form part of the measures
undertaken by the
American Society of International Law to "encourage the teaching, study, dissemination
appreciation of international law" in conformity with paragraph 2(1)(d) of the General
Resolution 44/23, proclaiming the United Nations Decade of International Law.
II. MID-TERM REVIEW OF THE DECADE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The time has come for us in the Northwest region, as well as in the larger Asian Pacific region,
stock of the progress made up to this point in the various activities and undertakings of States and
International Organizations including Non-Governmental Organizations as part and parcel of the
community. It is not the purpose of this brief report to give a detailed comprehensive and
analytical survey of
all the achievements, of all the activities in progress and the failures and disappointments that we
of the international community have encountered over the past five years. That enormous and
could not be undertaken, let alone attempted within the given time constraint. An endeavor will
nonetheless to highlight some of the salient features and to bring to focus a selected summary of
continuing progress being made in furtherance of the object and purposes of the United Nations
International Law. Significant achievements, important giant steps, far-reaching constructive
major obstacles and challenges will be mentioned together with recommendations wherever
possible improvements if not potential solutions.
Attention will necessarily have to be confined to certain specified areas of legal developments
appreciable stride is being made in the evolution, consolidation and crystallization of existing and
norms of contemporary international law.
The areas selected for current presentation will broadly touch the conduct of international
relations and cooperation among States, in particular the regulation of transnational trade; the
efforts on the
part of the world community at large to promote, preserve and protect human rights and the
for human habitation including the survival and management of all the living and non-living
resources of the
earth in all their species and forms. The three areas appear sufficiently inter-connected and to
inter-dependent and inter-related. Connexities do not necessarily warrant conditionalities as
sometimes suggested between international trade and human rights on the one hand and between
development and transnational trade on the other. Human rights and the environment are not
separable to be made conditional one upon the other. Rather their recognition and protection are
absolute and therefore unconditional.
Another point of methodology concerns the dimensions of this enquiry. Transcending all
areas, developments continue to be made nationally and internationally, as well as regionally and
Each of the avowed purposes listed in the United Nations Resolution proclaiming the Decade of
Law may be examined seriatim.
A. ACCEPTANCE OF AND RESPECT FOR THE PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL
One of the main purposes of the Decade is the promotion of the acceptance of and respect
the principles of international law. As a rule, it is easier to persuade international organizations to
respect the principles of international law than to induce or entice States to observe the same.
Several questions have been raised regarding the nature, contents and scope of a particular
principle of international law. Some principles of international law attract wider recognition and
States than others, depending on the general attitude of the State towards international law in
general and with
regard to a particular rule or principle being invoked to require adherence and conformance by the
As has been observed, the traditional or national view would tend to weigh the relevance
significance of a particular rule or principle of international law in the evaluation of the State
whether or not to
accept and respect it. States may be willing, eager, anxious or reluctant or even unwilling to
acknowledge the legitimacy of a principle. For instance, where there is a conflict of interest, as in
delimitation in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, the Federal Republic of Germany was not
is it likely, to accept the principle of equidistance as the applicable or decisive principle for the
delimitation of its
North Sea Continental Shelf, with Denmark and the Netherlands. On the other hand, both
Denmark and the
Netherlands, consistent with their respective national interests, argued in favor of the principle of
having also ratified the Geneva Convention on Continental Shelf of 1958. Whenever new
introduced or proposed for adoption, States whose interests stand to suffer thereby are likely to
Greece and Turkey adopted opposing views regarding the principle of equidistance in
It is not untenable when the position of a State vis-…-vis a principle of international law is
dictated by its national interest. However, States should maintain consistency in upholding a
principle of law or
in challenging it. This does not preclude a State from shifting its views or position with regard to
principle of international law. The United States for one is capable of revising, streamlining or
position or attitude towards a given principle of international law, and wherever feasible would
maintain consistency and to avoid being self-contradictory or inconsistent with itself. Thus, in the
under President Reagan in 1983 on the Exclusive Economic Zones, the United States excluded
from its exclusive
zones, highly migratory species, so as to maintain consistency in support of United States fishing
harvesting tunas in the Exclusive Economic Zones of the South Pacific Forum Nations. Common
justice prevailed in the end when the United States Government finally conceded to the fifteen
States and agreed to recognize and abide by the principles commonly accepted as binding upon
the principles of exclusive sovereign rights of the South Pacific Nations to regulate and manage
their Exclusive Economic Zones, including especially highly migratory species.
Another principle most vital to international civil aviation is the obligation on the part of States
refrain from taking measures that would destroy an unarmed civil aircraft in flight. The aerial
involving the downing of Korean KAL 007 in flight from New York to Seoul by Soviet air-to-air
precipitated further precautionary measures to avoid repetition of such disasters by a tri-lateral
of Understanding concerning Air Traffic Control involving Area Control Centers (ACC) in
(USA), Tokyo (Japan) and Khabarovsk (then USSR) to assist civil aircraft in emergency situation
Northern Pacific Routes (NOPAC). The incident led to an amendment unanimously adopted
by the ICAO
Assembly with regard to Interception of Civil Aircraft at an Extraordinary Session in 1984.
amendment, cited as Article 3 bis of the Chicago Convention and referred to as the
Protocol of 1984, was designed to enhance the safety of international civil aviation. It
principle of forbidding the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight. Although this
represented the rule of customary international law and was unanimously adopted by the ICAO
required 102 ratifications to enter into force. Although this principle was accepted by the United
representative to the ICAO Assembly in 1984, it was not ratified by the United States
Government four years
later when another incident occurred in 1988, this time involving an Iran Airbus 300 in flight (IR
international waters in the Persian Gulf shot down by the U.S.S. Vincennes. The United States
belatedly tendered an apology for the incident and offered to pay ex gratia compensation without
the question of principle of its liability. Some eight years later, however, in 1996, the United
Government reversed its position and now invoked the principle of Article 3 bis, as if it was all the
embraced by its practice. This reversal of position is indeed to be encouraged as it was done
in the right
direction. States should be complimented for adopting a more enlightened attitude in accepting
an acquired principle if international law, even if they might have opposed it on earlier occasions
national interests were neither at stake nor in need of its application. The wheel of international
turns in a mysterious way, providing a path-finder to light the passage through the haze of
self-interest to point the path to salvation for truth-seekers and peace-lovers in pursuit of a just
solution to an international conflict, based on a universally accepted and respected principle of
1) PRINCIPLES GOVERNING TRANSNATIONAL TRADE
Transnational or international trade is regulated by three different levels of norms :
- (a) National level;
- (b) International level; and
- (c) Private-Sector level.
Principles of international trade can be found at each of these levels. Different sets of rules
at national level and conflicting results could follow the application of national law which may
country to country or from one legal system to another. The international level of trade control
need not be
uniform in all cases and different principles may apply in different regional groups where special
arrangements have been adopted by members of the region to govern their intra-regional
Globalization of international trade regulations may ultimately produce uniformity or at least
harmony in the
control of transnational trade subject to regional variations. On the other hand, in the private
globalization of trade usages has taken place without governmental interference or intervention.
INCOTERMS continue to be applied and respected among the trading entities in various parts of
The question of utmost relevance to us may concern all three levels in the event of conflict of
prevailing at different levels of transnational commercial relations: how to promote acceptance of
for the principles of international law governing transnational trade.
We do not have to look far to appreciate the complexities of the problem facing international
Take the case of the United States as an example. At national level, the external trade of the
United States is
regulated by the three separate branches of the government. Regulatory power is shared between
the legislative authority placing restrictions on imports and fixing tariffs as part of fiscal policies,
Executive, namely, the President, the Secretary and Department of Commerce, and the United
Representative. That is not all. Import and export of certain commodities are subject to control
by other specialized government departments and agencies such as Defense, Foreign Affairs,
Fisheries, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency. These
rulings are not free of judicial review for legality, constitutionality or validity of a given
external trade. The judicial authority in the United States may have a final say in permitting
recognizing the validity of a foreign judgement or award on condition that an exequatur does not
mandatory law of the forum State, i.e., the United States of America.
If the United States were to isolate itself and placed an embargo or trade restrictions on the
rest of the
world, we could shut our eyes to the legal developments in the outside world and be content with
America", applying only United States national law on trade regulations. As it happens, however,
States is an important world trader, a number one trading partner in international trade. We might
looked to Europe for models and guidance and been impressed by the "Common Marketization"
European Union. But the United States Trans-Atlantic trade has been exceeded by the United
States Trans-Pacific by leaps and bounds. This past year, the trade volume with the Pacific
amounts to fifty percent higher
than that with the Atlantic. We can no longer afford to ignore legal developments across the
Pacific Basin, nor
overlook trade customs and commercial usages in the Asian Pacific region.
Fundamental changes of circumstances have induced basic changes in attitude and position of
State. The United States is no exception. Having fortified itself with reinforced legal measures
executive branch of the government to impose unilateral sanctions on transactions suspected of
trade competition, subsidies, dumping or infringement of intellectual property rights, the United
Government is initially omnipotent in protecting its national interest to enforce its anti-trust law
and its patent
and copyrights laws not only within United States territories but also beyond, overreaching its
own arms length
if the international community would tolerate such extra-territorial application of United States
Bilateral negotiations on an equal footing with a powerful trading partner such as Japan or
may not yield one-sidedly satisfactory results. An improvement in the principles of international
trade relations between nations appears at this point desirable and responding to the national
the United States. Once conviction is reached and reasons are apparent, the United States
Government is likely
to promote general acceptance of the principles of international law so identified and adopted by
Although the Havana Charter of 1947 was defeated in United States Congress and the first
International Trade Organization was aborted, its still birth gave rise to the General Agreement on
Trade in 1947, which has weathered a great many storms in international trade.
Within the first half of the Decade of International law, the succession of Multilateral Trade
Negotiations (MTN), including the Kennedy Round, the Tokyo Round and last but not least the
Multilateral Trade Negotiations Round which in 1994 culminated in the adoption of the Final Act
the Results of the Uruguay Round at Marrakesh on April 15, 1994. This monumental
the text of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WHO) targeted for entry
into force by
January 1, 1995.
A List of Annexes is attached to the Agreement. Without examining in any detail the contents
Annexes, it is of utmost significance to project the scope and dimension of the global trade
contemporary practice of world trade.
LIST OF ANNEXES
ANNEX 1 A
: Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods; General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade 1994; Agreement on Agriculture; Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and
Measures; Agreement on Textile and Clothing; Agreement on Technical Barriers to
Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Matters (TRIM); Agreement on
Article VI of GATT 1994; Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of GATT 1994;
ANNEX 1 B: General Agreement on Trade in Services and Annexes (GATS)
Agreement on Pre-Shipment Inspection Agreement on Rules of Origin; Agreement on
Licensing Procedures; Agreement on Subsidies and Counter-vailing Measures;
ANNEX 1 C: Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIP)
ANNEX 2: Understanding on Rules and Procedures; Governing the Settlement of Disputes
ANNEX 3: Trade Policy Review Mechanism
Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft; Agreement on Government
International Dairy Agreement; International Bovine Meat Agreement
The Final Act of Marrakesh constitutes an all-embracing package that wraps up most of the
under multilateral trade negotiations. It does not comprehend all trade issues nor all commodity
such as sugar, coffee, tin and petroleum. Yet it is inclusive enough to be highly serviceable if all
or most States
can be persuaded to accept and respect the principles of international law contained in all the
agreements listed in the Annexes to the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
This is an area in which the longer-term interests of the United States appear to coincide
those of other States and international organizations. However, each State has to overcome its
obstacles and division of power and jurisdiction within the national confines of its territory.
In this particular connection, the principles of international law governing transnational trade
clearly stated and agreed upon with agreed interpretation. As such they necessarily reflect some
but are consensual and deserve to become generally accepted principles applicable to all matters
of world trade
at the global level.
At the regional level, the United States, Canada and Mexico have accepted the creation of a
American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) with the possibility and likelihood of further expansion to
and other Central and South American States bordering the Pacific Rim. The United States is
active member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a loosely organized regional
economic cooperation, designed to promote international trade.
2) PRINCIPLES RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
It is common knowledge that international human rights are protected by relevant principles
international law. The corpus juris of the principles of international law is
contained mainly in
the International Bill of Human Rights: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948
and the two
International Covenants a) on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  and b) on Civil and
 and Optional Protocol  of 1966. The rights of special categories of persons are further
protected by other multilateral conventions, such as the International Convention on the
Elimination of All
Forms of Racial Discrimination, entry into force in 1969; Convention on the Elimination of
all Forms of
Discrimination against Women; entry into force in 1981; Convention against Torture and
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984; Standard Minimum Rules for the
Prisoners, 1956; and the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986.
protection of minorities forms the subject of another Resolution 1 (XXIV) of ECOSOC creating a
sub-commission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in 1971.
In addition to the general multilateral treaties, there are in almost every region of the world
arrangements, declarations of principles embodied in regional conventions and
regional machineries for enforcement of human rights.
In the past five years, international human rights have received further impetus in regard to the
protection of the rights of the child, the rights of women and the rights of indigenous and tribal
independent countries. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was one of the first to enter
into force on
September 2, 1990 as the Decade began, followed closely by the entry into force of the
concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries on September 5, 1991.
Prominence has been given to the treatment of women and the protection of their rights in a
World Conferences convened under the auspices of the United Nations, beginning with the Rio
Earth summit of
1992, the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, the Cairo International
Population Development in 1994, and the Copenhagen World summit on social Development in
United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, China, on September
emphasizing the theme of equality, peace and development. The Conference adopted the Beijing
and Draft Platform for Action. The NGO Forum was held in Huairou near Beijing from August
September 8, 1995, with some 35,000 persons attending from over 100 countries.
Human rights have found new expression and assumed a fresh outlook through the
measures the Security Council finally decided to adopt in 1991 to maintain international peace and
authorizing all means necessary including the use of coalition forces to repel the Iraqi invading
occupation of Kuwait. A new post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
created in addition to the existing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Humanitarian laws have
reached a new height of progressive development when the Security Council decided to establish
International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia  to sit in judgement of persons accused
against peace and humanity or offenses against the dignity of the human person, genocide and
of humanitarian law. The United Nations thus succeeded in extending its peace-keeping
operations into other
fields hitherto more aptly known as peace-making. It is conceivable that the jurisdiction of the
be extended to cover violations of humanitarian law committed in other territories, such as in
This is as far as the new trends could project. Prosecution of crimes against the law of nations
positive step in the suppression and punishment of individual wrongdoers. It does not take
precedence over the
need to establish and maintain peaceful conditions of law and order in any given society. Human
be expected to flourish in the clashes of arms. An appropriate order of priorities has thus been
set. There will
be no general international tribunal to try offenses under international law, in spite of a draft
by the International Law Commission annexed to the report on the Draft Code of Offenses against
and Security of Mankind. It is unlikely that such a general tribunal be set up in the
foreseeable future, as
no head of State in the right mind could afford to subject not only his or her State and its officials
international criminal prosecution, but also him/herself along with other agencies, since no one
outside international law or above the jurisdiction and beyond prosecution before such a
The extent to which the principles of international law upholding international human rights
accepted and observed in practice is a burning question today. There are more than one way of
status of principles of international law. The fact that a principle of international human rights law
vulnerable and as violable as any other basic norms of national or international law is no
indication, one way or
another, of its validity or enforceability. For instance, New York and Tokyo probably have very
codes, prescribing and defining the crimes of murder, robbery with violence and rape, the fact that
rates in New York far exceed those in the whole of Japan is no proof that New York criminal law
is weaker or
deficient. By the same token, the fact that international human rights are breached, curtailed,
ignored in various parts of each country of the world is no indication of the absence or
human rights law. Indeed, it is the primary obligation of each State to monitor violations of
human rights by its agencies within its territory.
Not unlike charity, human rights must also begin at home, at the breakfast table and at the
station. There is no human right without the correlative obligation incumbent upon the State to
preserve and protect such human rights, beginning with the preliminary recognition that every
answering the biological definition of a Homo Sapiens must be given equal
protection under the
legal system of every State.
Alien to the object and purpose of the International Bill of Human Rights, a State may go out
of its way
to monitor violations of human rights in the rest of the world except within its own national
borders. The rating
of respect for international human rights cannot be measured by the potential or actual negative
that a State may be called upon to level against all other States, but rather by the subjection of the
within its own territory to international scrutiny and by permitting international enquiry,
and investigation for alleged violations of human rights within itself, not outside where the State
control nor truly direct business. True it is that international human rights are the common
concern of each
and every State and of all persons, but the way to achieve progressive development of human
rights and their
complete implementation must be by taking affirmative actions, however simple and modest, with
violations of human rights that are not only attributable to the State but require more dutiful
obligation to have them respected and implemented within its territory.
An assessment of the degree of respect for international human rights in some society should
with how well national constitution protects civil and political rights, but how sincerely the State
accepts its own
international obligation to respect human rights by ratifying, adhering or acceding to all
human rights without evasive reservations, elusive understandings, illusory declarations and
proviso that defeat the object and purpose of any human rights instrument.
It is time every State returned to the conference table, resumed its useful role in the
community and renewed its effort to rebuild international peace and security where international
could prosper. It has proved impractical for any State to dictate any terms of conduct for the
community, while itself remaining outside the family of nations.
The United States has come a long way from paying lip-services to international human rights
actually beginning to accept and slowly trying to re-enter the world community by condescending
to face the
critics of human rights in an international forum. The ratification by the United States of the
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights on June 8, 1992, with effect on September 8, 1992, was a
giant step, a
first step ever taken by this country in support of principles of human rights. Even this giant
step was not
taken without excessive precaution. The United States ratification included five reservations, five
understandings, four declarations and one proviso, each of which is capable of over-killing the
international human rights in the United States. Take as a straight-forward example, the first
the United States that the provisions of the Articles 1 through 27 of the Covenant are
the face of it, this sweeping declaration may look innocent, but with a sophisticated judiciary, it
countenance to the United States Court to refrain from any consideration of any human right
covered by existing United States law, nor requiring additional United States legislation to have
effect. One consolation remains that the United States never intended to destroy the human rights
set up by the provisions of Part IV and Part V, Articles 28 through 53 of the Covenant.
Every human rights believer in this country understands the binding character of a treaty, once
ratified, it engages the responsibility of the State party to observe it. A party may not invoke the
its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty. Under international law and
the law of
treaties, the United States, having ratified the Covenant, is bound by its provisions. The
declaration as to non-self-executing status of Articles 1 to 27, would have no bearing on the
observance of human rights within any
country. However, in the United States, the declaration has paved the way for non-application of
provisions without legislative endorsement, and provided the judiciary with an excuse to violate
law by hiding comfortably behind United States Congress, while fully prepared to apply
international law principles recognizing even torture committed by a non-U.S. citizen against a
outside United States territory as actionable without any justification under any rules of private
The obligations under international law incumbent upon States to uphold and give effect to the
enjoyment of human rights within its territory may be divided into two or three categories.
some of these international obligations as obligations of result such as the right to life, freedom
arrest, detention and exile. Other types of international obligations relating to human rights may
as obligations of means or conduct which do not guarantee the results projected but require that
undertake specified measures, adopt a certain conduct or comport itself in a prescribed manner,
lead progressively to the achievement of an objective, such as the obligation on the part of States
medical and health care, adequate housing and reasonable living conditions by adoption of
administrative measures. Obligations of conduct are good efforts obligations, not absolute
guarantee of results.
However, some obligations are mixed; partly obligations of conduct and partly obligations to
of a designated goal, or a targeted, planned or postponed attainment of result, such as an
undertaking by a
State to achieve freedom from hunger within a reasonable period or to be self-sufficient in grain in
They are obligations of means or of conduct consistent with the attainment of the avowed object
and purpose to
result within a given time frame.
If we should put the United States to a test as to its rank and file among the States and persons
support and sustain human rights, the results could be revealing. For obligations of results in
United States may rank high within the first quartile of the total number of States, members of the
community. On the other hand, if we glance at the obligations of conduct, address the question
legislative acts have been adopted by the United States Congress to implement international
human rights or
monitoring how many United States judicial decisions, of their own accord, proceed to establish
new judge-made law to place the United States in compliance with its international obligations
under the Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, then the United States ranks at the bottom of the last quartile, especially
account the order and the belated and equivocal nature of United States ratifications of the
International Bill of
In short, the United States as a State has come some distance away from total disregard of
international human rights to a giant steps taken half-heartedly in 1992 extending its ratification of
and Political Rights Covenant subject to numerous reservations, understandings, declarations and
proviso, each of which when appropriately construed is likely to defeat the object and purpose of
altogether. But to pay lip services in support of human rights is still infinitely to be preferred,
although no one
is heard to contest or reject the validity of any principle of international human rights.
3) PRINCIPLES SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT
With regard to the protection of the environment, there was little customary international law
practice of States before World War II. The very first principle which is still valid today is the
"sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas". The past five years have witnessed
considerable growth and
expansion of general principles of international law supportive of the human environment.
environment and impact assessment rank high in the thinking of States in the preparation of their
and development plans. The right to development as a collective human right has received further
qualification. It is now better known as "sustainable development". In the mid-term review,
searching for a balanced approach to sustainable development, having regard to the need of every
specially the least developed countries for industrial development on the one hand, and the need
to contain and
reduce adverse affect on the global environment on the other.
The "Polluter Pays Principle", applicable in Europe since the 80s has attracted general support,
redress of existing or current harm, not as a license to inflict harms on one's neighbors.
The Precautionary Principle and the necessity for environmental impact assessment for every
development project appear to have gained popular recognition and acceptance in State practice,
the World Bank Group of International Finance Institutions.
The landmark in the past five years is distinctly the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992,
in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the adoption of Agenda 21 
Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition, the Conference adopted the United Nations
Convention on Climate Changes, and a non-legally binding authoritative statement of
principles for global
consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of
A series of international conventions were concluded in the period following Stockholm
1972 and the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, on the Protection of the Atmosphere, Ozone Layer and
Protection against Nuclear and other Transboundary Accidents, Hazardous Wastes,
Impact Assessment, and Protection of Flora, Fauna and Natural Resources. During and
further international treaties came into force with new and updated provisions adopted in
anticipation of the
challenges of the twenty-first century.
Sustainable development and healthful environment constitute an area where there appears to
likelihood of political diatribes than human rights. It is the economic and developmental interests
of every State
that appear to be at stake. In this particular connection, the United States appears to be taking an
active if not
leading role after returning to the conference table with amended part XI of the United Nations
the Law of the Sea. The United States is placed on record as being second to very few nations in
support of the
preservation and possible improvement of the ecosystem.
In the United Nations Decade of International Law, States have been urged to ratify, accede
accept all multilateral conventions and regional treaties where appropriate, in all fields. In
contrast to the
promotion of international human rights where progress is slow and lamentable, partly because
States has forsaken its role as a world leader, the protection of the environment finds the United
States in the
forefront, if not on the ring-side seat, and ranks highly among the keenest supporters of human
habitat and the
global environment, having put up its best efforts to clean the water and to clear the air within the
States borders or created necessary mechanisms to resolve recurring conflicts. Much progress
may be expected
in the latter half of the Decade provided that the earth ecosystem does not depreciate drastically
or the ozone
layers depleted substantially.
B. PROMOTION OF MEANS AND METHODS OF DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
The second purpose of the United Nations Decade of International Law is the promotion of
means and methods for the peaceful settlement of disputes between States, including resort to and
for the International Court of Justice.
It is pertinent at this juncture to cite the impression given by His Excellency Mohamed
President of the International Court of Justice on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the
and of the Court in Lisbon, Portugal, on August 25, 1995. The President pointed out that the
Court as a
principal organ of the United Nations has no separate existence, or independent future without the
Organization. As the United Nations has neither the executive power, nor the legislative power,
judicial authority conferred upon the Court is totally consensual and can be withdrawn by the
parties to the
Statute of the Court. In spite of the fundamental changes of circumstances in the ending of the
cold war, the
"Berlin wall" constructed by framers of the Charter against compulsory jurisdiction of the Court
has not been
torn down. The Court may now be enjoying the full blossom of its age and experience, full of
vitality, yet there is no assurance how long this happy state of affairs will last.
In some instances, the Court is well aware that submission of the dispute for a hearing before
is only one means of arriving at a political settlement more amiable and readily acceptable to the
parties than a
judicial decision as in the case of the Grand Belt Passage between Finland and Denmark.
However, the Court
does not systematically practice Solomon's judgements, nor has it sought clientŠle, or practiced a
seducing parties to litigation, or curried favor to a party or transacted at the expense of the
integrity of its
judicial functions. Without seeking customers or clientŠle shopping, the strength of the Court -
and its success
no doubt, lies in the ability to pronounce the legal rule in all its juridical rectitude, in all its
and in all independence. This is reflected in the rallying of an overwhelming majority in at least
President Bedjaoui cautioned against undue optimism or complacency if the Court is currently
best of health. It is in the prime of its life, but it may enter an aging phase at a quickening pace.
is not the case, While the political organs of the United Nations have evolved with greater
efficacy than their counterparts under the League of Nations, the International Court of Justice is
continuation of the Permanent Court with not much difference from its predecessor after 73 years
successive existence. The President advocated adaptations of the Statute which was the product
Confined to the States which alone can be parties to the disputes before the Court, the Statute
modifications. In any event, States prefer to retain the flexibility of a politically negotiated
Although the Court has succeeded in creating within itself a Special Chamber on the Law of
and a second Special Chamber on Environmental Law, much remains to be streamlined by way of
modifications, such as shortening of the time-limits for the filing of written pleadings. Advisory
Opinions of the
Court could be more widely sought if the list of organizations with consultative status could be
President Bedjaoui ended his observations by warning that we may have been demanding and
against violences; but the era of doing violence to justice is by no means closed.
Methods of dispute settlement need not reach the height of the highest international judicial
such as the International Court of Justice or the predecessor Permanent Court. Other mechanisms
international conflict resolutions, such as arbitration, conciliation, mediation, fact-finding mission,
of enquiry, good offices and re-negotiations or any other means the parties to the dispute may
under Article 33 of the United Nations Charter. Besides, several types of international disputes
are now being
settled by a hybrid Court with competence to hear disputes between States and nationals of other
as investment disputes under the Washington Convention of 1965, through the International
Centre for the
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), or other specialized fields such as deep-seabed
mining under the
new Law of the Sea Convention, or the Commission under the Liability Convention for Space
Objects of 1971.
Regional instances have been created for the settlement of regional disputes.
For the settlement of trade disputes not only between States but often between States and a
group of other States, we have noted the creation of the new World Trade Organization (WTO),
adoption of the Final Act at Marrakech in 1994 and the closing of the Uruguay Round of
Negotiations under GATT. A new dispute settlement mechanism is created to resolve trade
conflict with a
mixture of conciliation, mediation and good offices of the international agency. Certain flexibility
which will allow parties to the dispute room for complying with the recommendation which
should represent an
element of negotiated settlement without the risk of unilateral sanction. Rather any sanction
the dispute resolution mechanism may or may not apply at the choice of the parties with differing
Purely commercial disputes are decided by the private sectors themselves, such as the
of Commerce Arbitration Centers (ICC) or the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or other
arbitrations. In the Pacific Rim, Arbitration, Conciliation and Mediation Centers abound with
membership and increasing vitality. Among the latest innovations should be mentioned the
at Hanoi and the new China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
Arbitration Rules 1995.
These references are not intended in any way to deviate from the need for States in general to
the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and to withdraw their
reservations, but are
necessarily given to illustrate the variety of methods of international dispute settlement and to the
types of forum accessible to States and international organizations for the resolution of their
C. PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND ITS
States have been requested to submit their suggestions as to new topics of international law
be ripe for codification and/or progressive development. This is being undertaken on the main by
International Law Commission with all the supporting services of the United Nations, with ample
for reception and incorporation of the views of governments either in writing or through verbal
in the annual debate in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly.
Other organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations continue to function in full steam
preparation of new rules or codification of newly emerged rules and practice of States in various
such as Fisheries Management, Environment, Human Rights, and Commodity Agreements, by all
the norm-formulating agencies, apart from the United Nations itself, AEA, FAO, WHO, WMO,
GATT, WTO, UNEP and ILO.
Each State should be urged to participate more actively by responding to the questionnaire
by the norm-generating organs and agencies of the United Nations so as to share their views with
others in the
process of international law-making through codification and progressive development, thereby
norms in the set of draft articles which will later be integrated in a Convention to generate not
only treaty law
and obligations but also ultimately customary rules of international law.
D. THE TEACHING, STUDY, DISSEMINATION AND WIDER APPRECIATION OF
Almost ninety years ago, Oppenheim commented in the second volume of the American
International Law in 1908, following the two Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907,
rudiments of international law "ought also to be taught in all secondary schools, and the
history are the proper persons to undertake [the task]".
The final object of the Decade: the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of
international law was the least controversial. The Resolution was enthusiastically supported by
States. The Bush Administration had proposed that an effort be made to develop model
materials for the teaching of international law at primary and secondary levels of education.
The organizers of current regional meeting of the American Society of International Law,
force with the Fulbright Symposium, precisely have this objective in mind. It was understood
from the start
that the observance of the Decade should involve the public at large and not confined to
government and professors of international law. It is exactly what is being unfolded today.
Each year of the Decade has been witnessing growing attention being paid to problems of
law, especially those closely affecting the Asian Pacific Region. Golden Gate University has
offered to host the
Regional Meeting of the American Society of International Law since 1992 when a grant was
given through the
Ford Foundation to create regional outreaches for the Society. The Fulbright Symposium has
meeting of legal scholars, learned in various branches of international law to participate in the
panelists. The formula adopted is designed to induce the public, law practitioners and the
academia as well as
other sectors of the intelligentsia of the Northern Region to share the mutual exchange of views
on current legal
As far as the teaching, study and research in international law are concerned, it is good news
that when the Decade started, Golden Gate University School of Law only had 20 and 5 students
for Day and
Night Classes in the introductory Public International Law Course. This year, last Fall, the
participants have reached over 50 and 25 Day and Night, an increase of some two hundred
percent of the
student body with somewhat wider appreciation of international law. International Law classes
grown from five to fifteen courses
The foregoing survey is not intended to sound any alarm in the mid-term review of the
in legal developments during the first five years of the United Nations Decade of International
perhaps to alert the public to the awareness of the significance of the time frame of our existence.
We are in the
middle of the Decade that can be meaningful if appropriate attention is drawn to certain salient
The brief reference to the past five years of State practice is indicative of the extent of
progress to be expected in the face of new challenges of the third millennium. The key note
struck by the
President of the International Court of Justice last August is one of cautious realism. The end of
the cold war
has not greatly enhanced the chance of lasting global peace. Indeed, the Secretary-General of the
Nations, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, took occasion to lament, at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the
Organization celebrated in Lisbon on August 25, 1995, about the variety and the gravity of
conflicts which continue to take up more than two-thirds of United Nations peace-keeping
tragedy of Rwanda and the atrocities in former Yugoslavia brought unspeakable shame to the
community, and one could cite countless examples of internal conflicts just as barbaric and
scandalous in other
parts of the world to the utter indifference of the general public. If 30 per cent of United Nations
devoted to the maintenance of international peace and security, the other 70 per cent cover
to promote social and economic developments.
International law has progressively developed far beyond the imagination of most practitioners
even the most attentive publicists could not generally keep up with the rapid pace of codification
progressive development of international law through the process of multilateral law-formulating
and norm-generating treaties and by dint of practical acceptance and adherence by States, thus
accelerating the process
of customs formation in the consistent pattern of systematic State practice based on the conscious
States act in compliance with the requirement of the principles of international law.
While the wheel of international justice moves slowly but surely, its movement is swifter on the
areas where State actions are dictated by practical necessities of economic, social and cultural
progress of international law is to some extent impeded where there exist conflicting political
motivations. Time is of essence. When the time is ripe, general acceptance and respect for
international law will be irresistible. The race for international justice is less enticing than the
Respect for the law and human rights is less attractive and more difficult than the pretense that
there is no law
on the subject matter of the dispute and that consequently there has been no breach of an
international law rule
which never came into existence, let alone venerably observed and faithfully honored and
Further conclusions will emerge from the presentations of the panelists who follow and the
Rapporteurs who close the sessions with their impressions.
 G.A.Res. 44/23, November 17, 1989, moved by the non- aligned countries
following the initiative
taken by their Foreign Ministers at the Conference in The Hague in June 26-29, 1989.
 Ibid., paragraph 3; see also UN Doc. A/45/430 (1950), and Add.
1 and Add. 2.
 UN Doc. A/45/430, at p. 6.
 Paragraph 2 of the G.A.Res. 44/23 of November 17, 1989.
 See Dr. J. P érez de Cu éllar, Secretary-General of the United
Nations, Preface to
"The United Nations Decade of International Law", Leiden Journal of International Law, Special
Issue, 3 LJIL 90, at p.
vii; see also Sam Muller and Marcel Brus, The Decade of International Law,
ibid., pp. 1-14, at p.7.
 In spite of the new constructive role of the Security Council in the Gulf War, the
remains chronically in arrears in the payment of its annual contribution to the U.N. budget. Its
UNESCO is still in a state of suspended animation.
 See UN Doc. A/49/323, Annex.
 Edited by Monroe Leigh and Meritt R. Blakeslee, ASIL, 1995.
 See North Sea Continental Shelf Cases : Germany v. Denmark; Germany v. The
Reports 1969, p. 3; Geneva Convention on Continental Shelf 1958, 499 UNTS 311; 52 AJIL 858
 See, e.g., McLean and Sucharitkul, Fisheries Management and Development in the
EEZ : The North
and South and Southwest Pacific Experience, 63 Notre Dame Law Review (1988), 492.
 See UN SCOR 37th Session, 2470th Meeting at p. 47, UN Doc. S/PV/Z470
(1983); and 22
ILM 1109, 1109-1220 (1983).
 The Memorandum of Understanding entered into force on October 8, 1985, 25
ILM 74-77 (1986).
 23 ILM 705, 864-936 (1984).
 May 20, 1984, 15 UNTS 295; 23 ILM 705 (1984).
 Article 3 bis of the Protocol provides :
"(a) The Contracting States recognize that every State must refrain from
resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight and that, in
case of interception, the lives of persons on board and the safety of
aircraft must not be endangered". ,
 See ICAO : Resolution and Report concerning the Destruction of Iran air Bus on
July 3, 1988, 28
ILM 896 (1989).
 See Ambassador Albright, U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. and
President of the Security
Council in the debate over an aerial incident involving the downing of an unarmed U.S. aircraft
near Cuban waters
during the last week of February 1996.
 33 ILM pp. 1143-1273 (1994).
 ibid., at p. 1143.
 G.A.Res. 217 A (III) of december 10, 1948, UN Doc. A/810, at 71 (1948).
 G.A.Res. 2200 A (XXI), December 16, 1966, 21 UN GAOR Supp. (No. 16), at
49, UN Doc.
A/6316 (1966), 993 UNTS 3, entered into force on January 3, 1976.
 G.A.Res. 2200 A (XXI) December 161966, 21 UN GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52,
UN Doc A/6316
(1966), 999 UNTS 171, entered into force on March 23, 1976.
 UN Doc. A/6316, 999 UNTS 302, entered into force on March 23, 1976. See
also the Second
Optional Protocol, Aiming at the Abolition of Capital Punishment, UN Doc. A/RES/44/128,
entered into force on July
11, 1991. Already 9 countries are parties to the Protocol, 32 ILM 1969.
 660 UNTS 195, entered into force on January 4, 1969.
 UN Doc. A/RES/34/180, entered into force on September 3, 1981.
 G.A.Res. 46 (XXXIX, 1984), 23 ILM 1027 (1984), as modified, 24 ILM 535
(1985), entered into
force on June 26, 1987.
 UN Doc. A/CONF/611, Annex I A (1956); ECOSOC Res. 663 (XXIV) C, Doc.
 G.A.Res. 41/128. GOAR 41st Session, Supp. 53, p. 183, (1986); the Declaration
was not adopted by
Consensus but by a vote of 146 to 1 (USA), with 8 abstentions (including FRG, Japan and UK).
 See Resolution 1 (XXIV) of the ECOSOC, UN Doc. E/CN/4/1070, at 50-51,
 See, e.g., for the Americas : (a) american Declaration of the Rights and Duties of
Resolution XXX, adopted at the Ninth International Conference of American States, Bogota
(1948); 6 Actas y
documentos 297-302 (1953); (2) American Convention on Human Rights, November 22, 1969,
OAS Treaty Series No.
36, at 1, OEA/Ser.L/V/II-23-doc.rev.2, entered into force on July 18, 1978; for Europe :
European Convention for the
protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, November 4, 1950, 213 UNTS 222,
entered into force on
September 21, 1970, and Protocol No. 5, entered into force on December 21, 1971; and for
Africa : the African Charter
on Human and People's Rights [Banjul], adopted on June 27, 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3
rev/5. 21 ILM 58
(1982), entered into force on October 21, 1968. There is as yet no Asian Commission or Court of
Human Rights, but
efforts are being made towards a similar goal.
 G.A.Res. 44/25 on November 20, 1989, entered into force on September 2, 1990.
attracted the highest number of ratifications in record time. By June 23, 1993, the number of
parties has increased to
143, 32 ILM 1469 (1993). The United States remains singularly non-party; See also Note 23
above for the entry into
force of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR on Capital Punishment on July 11, 1991.
 ILO Convention 169, LXXII, ILO Official Bulletin, ser.A, No.2 at p. 63 (1898),
entered into force on
September 5, 1991. Countries with indigenous and tribal peoples such as Bolivia, Colombia,
Mexico and Norway were
among the first to ratify the Convention. the United States is not yet disposed to accede to it but
has voted for it.
 See ASIL Newsletter, November-December 1995, UN Fourth World Conference
on Women by
Valerie Oosterveld, at p. 18.
 ibid., at p. 19.
 See UNSC Res. 678, November 29, 1990, 29 ILM 1565 (1990); see also UNSC
Res. 686, March 2,
1991, and Res. 687, April 3, 1991 and Res. 688, April 5, 1991, 30 ILM 847,858 (1991).
 See UNSC Res. 808 (1993). S/25704; see also Statute of the International
published as Annex to the Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 2 of UNSC
Res. 808 (1993); also in
Basic Documents (1995) : International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for
International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Former Yugoslavia since 1991;
containing also Rules of
Procedure and Guidance (see amended, October 6, 1995), IT/32/Rev.6. See also UNSC Res. 827
(1993), May 25,
1993 : the Headquarters Agreement S/1994/848; and Rules Governing the Detention of Persons
Awaiting Trial, May 5,
 See, e.g., Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its
forty-fifth session, May 3 -
July 23, 1993, GAOR 48th Session, Supp. No. 10 (A/48/10), Annex, p. 255 et seq.
"Report of the
Working Group on a Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court".
 No President of the United States, nor Head of Government of the United
Kingdom will allow
him/herself or his/her sovereign Lord or Lady to be prosecuted for offenses against international
law which may be
committed by or attributable to him/her.
 See David Stewart, U.S. Ratification of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
: The Significance
of the Reservations, Understandings and Declarations, 14 Human Rights Law Journal 77 (1993).
See also Newman and
Weissbrodt, 1994 Supplement to International Human Rights : Law, Policy and process, (1994),
 See Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 63 AJIL 875
(1969) 8 ILM 679
(1969), entered into force on January 27, 1980. The United States is now party.
 See Filartiga v. Pena-Irala, 630 F.2d.876 (1980); 19 ILM 966 (1980); 577 F.
Supp. 860 (1984).
 UN Doc. A/CONF./151/5/Rev.1, June 13, 1992; 31 ILM 874 (1992). This is a
proclamation of 27
principles, building on the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at
Stockholm in 1972, with
the goal of establishing a new and equitable partnership through the creation of the new levels of
States, key sectors of society and people, and working together towards international agreements
respecting the interests
of all and protect the integrity of the global development system.
 UN Doc. A/CONF.151/PC/21, Agenda 21 was adopted at Rio by the United
Nations Conference on
Environment and Development as a Comprehensive Framework for International Environmental
38 and 39 deal with "International [Environmental] Institutional Arrangements" and International
Instruments and Mechanism.
 31 ILM 818 (1992), adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment
June 5, 1992. See also ASEAN Agreement of the Conservation of Nature and National
Resources; reprinted in
International Protection of the Environment, I/A/09-07-85 (2nd Series, 1991).
 31 ILM 849 (1992), adopted June 14, 1992. See decisions adopted by the first
session in Berlin,
March 28 - April 7, 1995, 34 ILM 1671 (1995).
 UN Doc. A/CONF.151/6/Rev., June 13, 1992, 31 ILM 881 (1992)
 See, e.g., World Charter for Nature, UNGA Res. 37/7, October 27, 1982, UN
GAOR Supp. (No. 51)
21 UN Doc. A/37/L/4 and Add. 1 (1982); Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air
Pollution, Geneva, November
13, 1979, entered into force on March 16, 1983. 18 ILM 1442 (1979); Vienna Convention for the
Protection of the
Ozone Layer, March 22, 1985, entered into force on September 22, 1988, TIAS 11097, 26 ILM
1529 91985); followed
by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, September 16, 1987,
entered into force on
January 1, 1989, 26 ILM 1550 (1987); see the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Changes 1992 in
note 45 above.
 See, e.g., Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological
(following Chernobyl), Vienna, September 26, 1986, entered into force on February 26, 1987, 25
ILM 1377 (1986);
Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, Vienna, September 26, 1986, entered
into force on October 26,
1986, 25 ILM 1370 (1986); and Convention on Transboundary Effect of Industrial Accidents,
Helsinki, March 17,
1992, 31 ILM 1330 (1992).
 See, e.g., the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of
and their Disposal, March 22, 1989, 28 ILM 649 (1989); and Bamako Convention on the Bar of
the Import into Africa
and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within
Africa, 30 ILM 773 (1991),
Bamako, January 29, 1991.
 See, e.g.,Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in Transboundary
Context, 30 ILM 800
(1991), done in Espoo, February 25, 1991; the Protocol on Environment Protection to the
Antarctic Treaty, Annex I
(1991), 30 ILM 1445 (1991); see also U.S. Executive Order No. 12114, January 4, 1979, 44 F.R.
 See, e.g., Historical Responsibility of States for the Preservation of Nature for
Present and Future
Generations, UNGA Res. 35.81 of October 30, 1980; Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild
Fauna and Flora, Washington, March 3, 1973, entered into force on July 1, 1975, 993 UNTS 243;
27 UST 1087, TIAS
No. 8249, 12 ILM 1985 (1973); and Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and
Natural Heritage; 27 UST
37, TIAS 8226, Paris, November 23, 1972, entered into force on December 17, 1975.
 See, e.g., Notes 48, 49 and 50 in fine. See also the Global Program of Action for
the Protection of the
Main Environment for Land-Based Activities, inter-governmental Conference in Washington in
October 1995; the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 which entered into force on November
16, 1994, containing
provisions regarding the conservation of the marine environment; see, in particular, also Treaty
on the Southeast Asia
Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and Protocol, dated December 15, 1995.
 See Sucharitkul, the Role of the International Law Commission in the Decade of
International Law, 3
Leiden Journal of International Law, 90, at pp. 15-42.
 The Science of International Law : Its Task and Method, 2 AJIL (1908), at pp.
 ibid., at pp. 323-324 :
"If the public knew something about the merits of the case concerned
they would frequently look more coolly and in more impartial way, and
it would be easier for the governments to consent to arbitration".
 UN Doc. A/45/430/Add.2 at p. 14.
Copyright 1997 American Society of International Law