Sunteți pe pagina 1din 21

Legal Studies Stage 6

Option 7: World
2011 HSC Course

Daniella Lambert
Trinity Catholic College

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

1. The nature of world order

Discuss the concept of world order.

World order: activities and relationships between the worlds nation states, and other
significant non-state actors, that take place with a legal, political and economic framework.
The aim of these international activities is the promotion of peace and stability in the world.
Previously known as international relations prior to globalisation.
Term coined at end of the Cold War by USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev.
Interdependence of nation-states has increased due to:
o war
o natural disasters, famine and epidemics
o climate change
o international crime and terrorism.
Increasing globalisation has had many results including:
o improved technology and transportation
o communication and mobility of labour
o flow of goods and capital across State borders
o more effective trade agreements and removal of trade barriers.

Outline the evolving nature of world order.

There has long been a desire for collective security and a dramatic growth in the development of
international law in the last 60 years:

Treaty of Westphalia (1648) attempted to give the nation-state protection in international

law, origin of state sovereignty, FIRST MULTILATERAL COOPERATION.
The Concert of Europe (1815) developed by victorious nations of Napoleonic wars to prevent
future European conflict.
Treaty of Versailles Conference (1919) and the establishment of the League of Nations.
Nicaragua v. Mexico [1926] claimed Mexico was assisting political enemies causing political
instability in Central America, but was deemed not an issue of interest for the League of
Nations. US instead sent squadron of warships for the protection of American and foreign
lives and property.
Pact of Paris (1928) signed by many member states but no mechanism for ensuring
compliance. IMPORTANT one of few agreements of 20th century that applied almost
Atlantic Charter (1941)
o Nation states see no territory. Changes must be those wished by the people.
o All people have the right to choose the form of government.
o Freedom of the seas.
o Equal access to trade and raw materials for economic prosperity.
o Cooperation for improved work conditions, adequate social security and economic

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

o Abandonment of use of force.

The UN Charter (1945) is the MOST SIGNIFICANT. Its first aim was the prevention of war, and
the preservation of peace.
o Article 2 (3) All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means...
o Article 2 (4) All members shall refrain in their international relations from threat or use
of force...

Describe the need for world order.

Activities previously limited to the local or national levels are not internationalised, requiring
law making beyond the nation-state.
The need for world order has never been greater due to the high level of interdependence
that has resulted from globalisation the integration of regions by the removal of
restrictions on trade, travel and mass communication.
E.g. Global financial crisis (Sept, 2009) demonstrated that a financial problem in one part of
the world can have a quick ripple effect across the globe.
The world is more vulnerable due to interdependence on stability in other regions of the
Benefits that arise from interdependence (interconnection of two or more states to such an
extent they are mutually dependent on one another and vulnerable to crises) include:
o Volume of international law has grown exponentially, with high degree of compliance.
o Encouragement for cooperation, leads to the consensus with which most international
laws are made.
o Countries agree to binding treaties and commit themselves to provisions because of
mutual benefit.
Some nations choose not to join because they perceive it as detrimental to their nations.

Explain the implications of the nature of conflict on achieving world

Interstate conflict

Conflict between separate countries.

Conventional war: use of large, organised military forces.
Nuclear war: threat reached pinnacle with Cuban Missile Crisis, end of atmospheric testing
with the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty prevents
countries from acquiring of building nuclear weapons.
Cyber-warfare: cyber-attack may be launched by terrorists, criminals and states affecting
internet, defence systems, telecommunications infrastructure, stock market, transportation
systems, health infrastructure and critical infrastructure such as electricity grids.
Cold War: 1947-1991 rivalry between US and USSR in military, economic, political and
strategic matter, paralysed the UN Security Council and reduced the effectiveness of the UN
in dealing with world order issues.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Intrastate conflict

Conflict within a country, also known as a civil war.

In the last 20 years 115/122 wars around the world have been civil conflicts.
UN Charter focused on interstate, yet today intrastate conflict is now prominent, requiring
different approaches such as peacekeeping.
Civil war: conflict between two or more sides within a country, for example Sudan which
resulted in the establishment of a new nation state, South Sudan.
Guerrilla war: use of hit-and-run tactics and element of surprise, e.g. the Vietcong against
the logically superior US forces in the Vietnam War. Also used by armed groups opposing US
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wars waged by governments against their own people: dictatorial regimes often engage in
systematic campaigns of genocide, mass murder, and elimination of classes of people and
state-sponsored terror or death squads (mass atrocity crimes or crimes against humanity).
James Huntley referred to this as democide the killing of democracy.
Terrorism: actions intended to cause death or physical injury to civilians and to cause terror,
with the intent of coercing a government or other body o meet certain demands. Has
become a global phenomenon since the 11 September 2011 terrorist attacks on the Twin
Towers. Groups include Al-Qaeda that act locally for global effect.
Communal killing: violence and warfare within communities not necessarily perpetrated by
the government. E.g. ethnic rivalries, historical or religious differences. Occurred in 1990s
after Yugoslavia split into Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia; Rwanda; Darfur region of Sudan. They
are generally war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Spills into neighbouring nations to being a world order issue. Refugees cross borders
spreading tension and animosity.

Access to resources as a source of conflict

Since the signing of the UN Charter in 1945 nations that go to war are now far more
concerned with providing legal justification of their actions. This can be undermined as it is
usually just a front for real reasons.
US has military bases around the world and particularly in the Middle East is to secure
resources for an economy dependent on a high amount of energy. It is Israels staunchest
ally, possibly because of its pivotal position in the Middle East, and maintains good
relationships with oil-rich Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, partially
impacting upon Americas decision to become involved in the first Gulf War.
Fossil fuel production is due to peak, raising the question of the need to have an Oil
Depletion Protocol.
Global food scarcity could provide a future cause for conflict with expanding populations.
Other causes: ideological disputes, religion, global or regional hegemony, and ethnic,
religious or racial intolerance.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

2. Responses to world order

Examine the role of sovereignty in assisting or impeding the
resolution of world order issues.
State sovereignty plays an important role in the resolution of issues threatening world order. State
sovereignty establishes the rights and responsibilities for the individual nation states that can assist
in the solving of the problems that threaten world order. These same rights and responsibilities can
also impede the solving of the problems that threaten world order if they are exploited or not
exercised in good faith with international interests.
State sovereignty gives nations the right to enter into international relationships with other nation
states. This connection usually in the form of a treaty may allow one nation to influence another, or
offer support that could prevent the escalation of an issue that may threaten the balance of World
Assisting resolution of world order issues:

Treaties that create unions e.g. EU helps balance prosperity in a region where poorer nations
can benefit from knowledge and technology from richer nations solving economic crisis in
Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Right to reject treaties if against a nations best interests. E.g. evident by the time taken for
Australia to sign the Kyoto Protocol because it was against our economic interests.
Protects its citizens prevent exploitation of people and stop civil unrest, maintaining
stability, right with visas (refuse or withdraw)
Can be involved in peace keeping missions if it chooses e.g. Australia in East Timor
(allowing elections to go ahead) and greater Asia-Pacific.
Can join the United Nations.
State sovereignty itself acts as a deterrent to conflict, if one nation violates another it leaves
itself open to similar acts. The fact it exists will stop some from doing the wrong thing.

Impeding resolution of world order issues:

Barrier to unwanted input from the international community

Can prevent negotiations over issues that are potentially harmful. You cant take another
country negotiate or mediate. UN has limited responses (e.g. sanctions and blockades,
restrictions on trade) but little can be done.
Nation-states are interdependent due to globalisation and the breaking down of traditional
barriers, however nations continue to govern in national interests that than regional or
Can be used as an excuse for people being held not accountable in the international arena.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in

resolving conflict and working towards world order.
State sovereignty

States have the right to make laws within the territories they govern as well as the right to
make treaties with other states.
Dependent on the stability of the domestic situation and international acceptance.
The only chance of enforcing international treaties is through state sovereignty; however, it
can also limit world order as nations can choose to ignore international treaties that conflict
with their national interests without being held accountable.
State sovereignty can be a vehicle for change; implementing policies that help encourage
and enforce peace and world order. E.g. Australias peace-keeping efforts in East Timor.
Without a policy of participation by nations that contribute military and police personnel
there would be no peace-keeping force to achieve developments in world order issues
(humanitarian intervention).
Can be overruled by the UN Security Council using its Chapter VII powers, providing a
safeguard if there are widespread human rights violations which result in a threat to peace
or an act of aggression. E.g. mass killings resulting in an exodus of refugees may be viewed
as a threat to peace.
Problems with UN sanctioned intervention:
o Difficulties with UNSC agreement if the interests of one of the permanent five are
threatened. E.g. China blocking action in Darfur due to obtaining oil from Sudan.
o Permanent Five provide the most significant military power and may be unwilling to act.
o Popular opinion opposed to sending armed forces to dangerous regions may have an
o States fear failure. E.g. efforts in Somalia, 1993. UN lacked resources and political and
financial support. US public opinion turned against intervention when 18 soldiers were
killed by Somali gunmen.
Sovereignty is the foundation of our global system, but is exercise can impede the resolution
of world order issues if its rights are exploited and its responsibilities are ignored.
o States have the right to: act in world affairs, be sovereign, control internal affairs, vote in
the UN, be equal to other states and use and protect its territory.
o States have a responsibility to: respect other states territorial integrity and allow the
political independence of other states.

The United Nations

The United Nations was formed in 1945 at the end of World War II with an expressed aim of
maintaining peace. It began with only 51 member states; today, it has 192. Membership
numbers fluctuate because states can choose to join or leave and the UN can elect to
remove a state that acts contrary to the UNs aims, as expressed in the Charter of United
The importance of the UN is that it is a body set up to provide concrete guidelines about
how peace might be achieved and maintained. It provides a tangible focus for international

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

cooperation, and is a leader in setting and spreading ethical standards about treatment of
people and about how states can coexist in a harmonious manner.
The ICCPR and the ICESC, known as the Twin Covenants, came into force in 1976. Whereas a
declaration is not legally binding, these covenants formalised the principles listing in the
UNDHR by transforming them into treaties that, once ratified by a member state, are
binding. They are limited by the fact there is no international body to ensure their
enforcement if nations choose to not ratify them.
Kofi Annan states that The effectiveness of the UN relies on high-level political support and
partnerships between governments.
Structure of the United Nations:
o UN Security Council
Permanent Five and ten other revolving nations; those five can veto any majority
decision, in some cases impeding the resolution of world order issues.
In resolving a threat to the peace, the Security Council may (Article 41) advocate
complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal,
telegraphic, radio and other means of communication, and the severance of
diplomatic relations. Also, may use demonstrations blockades and other operations
by air, sea or land forces.
E.g. recommended economic sanctions against South Africa in order to pressure for
the abolition of apartheid. In 2002 it passed Resolution 1441, which required Iraq to
show the world community that it did not possess weapons of mass destruction.
o UN General Assembly
Consists of all member states that are considered equal; greatest potential for
improving world order.
Debate issues, make recommendations and vote on decisions. These decisions are,
however, not binding, and there are no ramifications for any state that votes for a
decision and then does not abide by it.
Make recommendations to states that are not adhering to UN Charter guidelines
and can advise the UNSC on disputes they are not already involved in.
o UN Secretariat
Important role in mediating disputes between nations.
Led by Secretary-General who can advise the UNSC.
E.g. Rainbow Warrior affair, the Secretary-General helped mediate a dispute
between France and New Zealand after French agents sank the Greenpeace vessel
Rainbow Warrior at her moorings in Aucklands harbour.
o Economic and Social Council
54 members, including Permanent Five.
Initiates reports and makes recommendations to the General Assembly on areas
concerning economic, social and cultural cooperation with a view to promoting
world order.
Coordinates autonomous agencies that promote world order though international
campaigns. E.g. UNESCO which promotes education and cultural development, WHO
which coordinates world-wide immunisation and provisions for essential drugs, and
the World Bank which provides loans and technical assistance to developing
countries to reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

International instruments

An international instrument is a document that outlines an ideal international standard of

behaviour on a particular issue. International instruments are all voluntary and take two
main forms: declarations and treaties.
Declarations such as the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, are non-binding
agreements and are sometimes referred to as soft law. By signing a declaration, nations
show their in-principle support for the intentions of the agreement but they are no bound to
follow any particular actions.
A treaty is a binding agreement and is sometimes referred to as hard law. A treaty can be
bilateral (between two countries) or multilateral (between more than two countries).
o Geneva Protocol (1925) was signed by nearly all nations and no nation has engaged in
gas warfare since its establishment.
o Sea Bed Treaty (1971) prohibits the placement of nuclear weapons, weapons of mass
destruction, launching pads or storage or testing facilities on the sea-bed. Activities may
be undertaken within 21.5km of their nations shoreline, deterring the nuclear-capable
nations from setting up short-range nuclear weapons outside territorial waters of other
o South Pacific Nucear-Free Zone Treaty (1986) prohibits the detonation of all nuclear
devices even for peaceful purposes, and also outlaws the dumping of radioactive waste
within the zone, establishing a system to verify compliance.
Customs becomes part of customary international law when they are part of an ongoing,
consistent and uniform practice accepted by states as law.
o For example, it has long been a custom that countries will assist vessels in distress within
their waters, regardless of which country they are from. The custom was so widely held
that it was incorporated into the law of the sea.

Courts and tribunals

International Court of Justice

o Principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
o It has limited jurisdiction; only states can be parties to cases before the ICJ, not
individuals. The ICJs jurisdiction applies when there is a special agreement about a
specific dispute, when parties to a treaty nominate the ICJ as the resolution mechanism
or when nations make a unilateral declaration.
o Interprets treaties between states, but only if states give consent to arbitration in
o Limitations on its powers reduce the ICJs ability to take the initiative and to judge a
states behaviour, or that of a United Nations organ, independent of a request by that
party itself.
o A decision of the ICJ has no binding force upon anyone other than the states that were
parties to the case. There is therefore no doctrine of precedent operating to determine
the decisions in future cases.
o The judges serve a nine-year term and rotate so that each member state that can
demonstrate its competence in international law is represented over time. Decisions are
made by majority vote and there is no appeal.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Consequently it has received criticism that it has little power to enforce or police its
decisions. Possibly its most vital role is in generating political pressure to encourage a
state to change its behaviour. It does this by formal judicial decisions that may
embarrass a state in the world arena.
o Republic of Benin v. Republic of Niger [2005] frontier dispute case where the nations
had argued for many years over the location of the border between their states. This
case demonstrates the ability of the ICJ to help nation resolve disputes without the need
to resort to war or other violence. The border dispute between Benin and Niger was able
to be resolved in a manner that was fair and based on the best interest of world order.
Other international tribunals
o European court of Human Rights empowered to police how treaties are applied and
administer treaties through the EU. Its decision is final and binding.
o Ad hoc tribunals established for a specific task and disbanded once this is completed.
o War Crimes Tribunals try crimes against international law and those who have
perpetrated violations of the laws of war.
o E.g. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) proved itself to
function fully with the passing of extradition laws by the Yugoslav government in 2002 to
force suspects to appear before the tribunal.
o Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic [1997] firt trial to be completed by the ICTY, not a soldier
but known for being aggressive and assisting in the ethnic cleansing of his village.
Charged with rape, beatings, torture and murder of Muslim civilians as part of a
widespread and systematic attack on civilians. Found guilty of 11 crimes against
humanity and given maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
International Criminal Court (ICC)
o Will prosecute individuals if the alleged state where crimes of genocide, crimes against
humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression occur refuses to do so.
o Effectiveness is limited by the fact that nation-states that choose not to ratify the Rome
Statute (e.g. China, Russia, India and the US) do not have to cooperate if they want to
investigate the crime within their state sovereignty.
o Prosecution v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo [ICC] first person tried by the ICC for conscripting
child soldiers to be involved in ethnic clashes in the Congo.
European Court of Justice is the judicial organ of the European Union to which member
states can bring complaints. Individuals also have limited rights to claim damages against the
European Union and to enforce economic laws against regional organisations. Its powers are
greater than the ICJ because of its power of judicial review and the binding and enforceable
nature of its decisions.

Intergovernmental organisations

Regional intergovernmental organisations (IGOs)

o Regional neighbours are often closely linked through trade and culture and this gives
regional IGOs significant influence.
o E.g. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) established in 1967 consisting of
ten south-east Asian states with the aim of aiding regional economic growth, promoting

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

peace and security and the rule of law and promoting collaboration in social , cultural,
technical, scientific, industrial and agricultural fields.

Non government organisations

Act independently of government control and have no political role. They play a crucial role
in supporting individuals who are suffering as a result of political unrest and a lack of world
E.g. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement the Red Cross plays a key
role in protecting the rights of people caught up in conflict. Components engages in different
activities, which range from the collection of blood donations to assisting prisoners of war,
but all share the same fundamental principle of acting for the benefit of all humanity.
E.g. Amnesty International - operates as a moral force on the international stage. It informs
the public about violations of human rights, actively seeks release of political prisoners and
acts as an observer in situations of tension. It issues frequent press releases calling upon
offending states to cease inhumane actions.

The media

The media can be used to draw the publics attention to the reality of war and its tragic
consequences on civilian populations, as in the case of the Vietnam War. Televised coverage
of this war is credited with turning popular opinion against US and Australian involvement.
In other contexts, however, the media can be used to promote one particular point of view
and can nurture prejudices and promote exaggerated claims that incite conflict.
E.g. the Twitter Revolution witnessed after the 2009 Iranian elections where young Iranians
were able to network with each other and the world.

Explain the role of Australias federal government in responding to

world order.

Australias federal structure has a significant influence on Australias response to the

promotion of world order.
The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) outlines the division of powers;
highlighting the powers held exclusively by section 51 of the Australian Constitution, as well
as the procedure if, in exercising their residual power, a state law should conflict with a
Commonwealth law. The federal structure gives overriding power to Commonwealth law
and federal parliament.
Section 51(xxix) gives power to the Commonwealth government to make laws on external
affairs, and so has power to ratify an international instrument by implementing domestic
legislation. Only the federal government can act on behalf of all Australians (entering into a
treaty is an executive decision).
E.g. Commonwealth v. Tasmania [1983] federal government used its external affairs power
to bring a halt to Tasmanias damming of Franklin River.
Can ignore action in the interest of improving world order; for example, the Howard
Australia is a founding member of the United Nations.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Australia has maintained strong support for United Nations peacekeeping missions
throughout the world. These missions have been an integral part of Australian foreign policy,
which is focused on the need to keep peace and good order within the AsiaPacific region;
for example, in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Peacekeeping missions achieve this by
removing sources of regional instability. Missions outside the region, such as those in
Cyprus, Namibia, Rwanda and Somalia, are an important means by which Australia can
establish its international credentials.
In recent years Australia has been more active in the promotion of good governance and law
and order within the Pacific region. In 2003 Australian Federal Police were sent to the
Solomon Islands to help local authorities maintain order after armed militia attempted to
seize control of parts of the country. Australia has also been vocal in its condemnation of the
2009 decision of the military government in Fiji to defer democratic elections until 2014.

Non-legal mechanisms for international dispute resolution

Political negotiation

Involves communication between states and is the most simple and frequently used form of
resolving disputes between states.
Occurs on many levels of government with experts negotiating details of international
There has been increased scope for greater cooperation.
If political negotiation fails, the next mechanism is persuasion.


States, international organisations and transnational corporations can be persuaded to

change their behaviour through the pressure of world public opinion.
Naming and shaming, used effectively by NGOs to achieve their objectives.
UN can use this tactic through reports delivered on various issues and deliberations of
human rights bodies. E.g. Widespread criticism of Zimbabwe for mass atrocity crimes.
States can be encouraged to improve behaviour by the prospect of membership of word
organisations. E.g. China had to improve its trade standards in order to comply with the rules
of the World Trade Organisation and thus benefit from the same tariff rates for all member
Also: Turkeys bid for membership to the EU in order to benefit from the large, successful
market required improvements to their compliance with human rights.
Soft power makes the option to comply appear attractive rather than coercing people to
It is not always effective. E.g. Chinas promise to improve its conduct in relation to human
rights and civil liberties to host the 2008 summer Olympic Games; however, many
commentators argued that China reneged on its promises to the IOC, evident in continuing
practices of detention, harassment and torture of political dissidents and its censorship of

Use of force

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Results when political negotiations and persuasion through soft power fail.
The UN Charter insists that force or the threat of force should not be relied upon to maintain
international relations; however, they created a legal framework for the inevitable need for
force in some circumstances.
Article 51 states force can be used in self defence. E.g. US argued its invasion of Afghanistan
in 2001 was legal because it was carried out in response to the 11 September attacks. After
10 years of commentators conceding that the invasion was legal, there is not question
where it was the appropriate course of action.
The Charter also legitimises the use of force in circumstances other than self defence,
limited by the need for the agreement of the Security Council to take action by air, sea or
land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Multilateral action

The NATO action in Kosovo invites the question of what circumstances make the use of force
legal under international law.
Security Council was prevented from intervening in the genocide and practice of ethnic
cleansing of the Muslim population in Kosovo because Russia backed Serbias control of
Kosovo, and China perhaps draw a parallel to its own control of Taiwan.
NATO intervened in Kosovo in 1999 and the Security Council, minus China called for
international civil and security presence in Kosovo, retrospectively ratifying the NATO
intervention and lending it greater legitimacy.
Scholars of international law argue that the intervention in Kosovo was legal because it was
carried out by a multilateral collective military intervention which has the sanction of
international law if the threat to peace is significant.
Unilateral military intervention has been prohibited under international law since the end of
World War II.


HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

3. Contemporary issues concerning

world order
Identify and investigate these contemporary issues involving world
order and evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses
to these issues.
The principle of responsibility to protect

Concept developed by Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group in 2009,
abbreviated to R2P.
Raised the issue that the international community had repeatedly failed to prevent and stop
mass atrocity crimes such as genocide and war crimes. E.g. controversy surrounding right to
humanitarian intervention in conflicts of Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo, favouring
intervention or the principle of state sovereignty.
Aimed at bridging the gap between these two views of state sovereignty, and became the
basis of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, called
Responsibility to Protect unanimously accepted at World Summit in September 2005 and
accepted by the UNSC.
Legal responses:
o Onus on states and international organisations to protect populations from mass
atrocity crimes.
o Individual states must protect their own citizens and help other states to build their
capacity to do the same. International organisations such as the UN must generate
effective prevention strategies and NGOS and individuals must draw the attention of
policy makers to what needs to be done.
o Prevention is the key response in the R2P doctrine through measures such as
building states capacity to safeguard human rights, remedying grievances, and
conforming to the rule of law.
o If prevention fails, necessary measures to stop mass atrocity crimes include
economic, political, diplomatic, legal, security and military as a last resort.
Non-legal responses:
o Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS) launched by the World
Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy engages civil society and educates
other NGOs about R2P to effectively lobby governments to respond prompting and
appropriately to emerging humanitarian crises. Builds advocacy skills and promoted
the implementation of R2P by the United Nations.
o International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) launched by the
R2PCS and supported by NGOs such as Oxfam International, Human Rights Watch,
International Crisis Group and Refugees International to raise awareness, education
and form partnerships between NGOs.


HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Important framework to reconcile the non-interference principle and obligations to act

against human rights violations.
Useful mechanism to improve international communitys response to crisis situations.
Requires political will on behalf of world leaders to make hard decisions.
Responsibility of people of goodwill to pressure their governments to be involved.
Remains to be seen how effective the UNSC will be in warranting military intervention.

Regional and global situations that threaten peace and security (nuclear

Nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to global peace and security.
27 000 warheads, with thousands still on 20-minute alert detonation of only a few
hundred would destroy cities and cause massive ecological damage to the rest of the world.
E.g. 1995 a false reading nearly sparked nuclear retaliation by Russia against a suspected US
There have been a number of bilateral nuclear weapons treaties and multilateral treaties to
deal with the threat of nuclear war which has not been eliminated.
Legal responses:
o Bilateral treaties:
1991 US and Russia signed START 1 and began reduction of nuclear arsenals from
58 000 warheads (11 000 at present with goal of 5000 each)
SORT treaty of 2002 criticised because it omitted tactical nuclear weapons,
meaning parties could put them in storage, omitted verification procedures.
2010 New START treaty to reduce two-thirds of deployed warheads from START 1
and one-third from SORT.
o Multilateral treaties:
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) signed in 1968 in Washington, London and
Moscow and based on agreement that those nations lacking nuclear weapons
promised not to develop them if the five nations that did possess them (USA,
Russia, China, Britain and France) agreed to gradually reduce the number of
weapons they held.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) adopted in 1996 banned the production of
weapons-grade fissile material, eliminate nuclear weapons, support nuclear free
zones and give security assurance to all nations. 182 signatories in March 2010;
however, US has not ratified the treaty.
2000, America announced its intention to abandon the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
(ABM) of 1972 and 2002 announcement that it would use pre-emptive action to
strike an enemy first led to fear from other major powers and represented an
abandonment of basic UN principles.
Further limitations at 2005 World Summit where no achievements were made to
strengthen the NPT, no final document was produced.
o UN Security Council and Nuclear Disarmament acts on a case by case basis.
In Iraq, the fact that no weapons of mass destruction were found after America
invaded in 2003 attests to the success of the UN weapons inspections since the
passing of Resolution 687 at the end of the 1990-91 Gulf War.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

North Korea: referred to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for violating
safeguards in 1993 and later signed the Agreed Framework between the United
States of America and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea as a non-binding
political agreement; however they withdrew from the NPT in 2003 and in 2006
detonated a nuclear bomb. Pressure from the UNSC led to an agreement to
abandon its nuclear weapons program but as of 2010 this had not been achieved.
Iran has been pressured to end developments of a nuclear bomb since 2006 but
UNSC is divided about how to deal with the violations of the NTP.
o Hans Blix noted the UNSC cannot be said to be doing its job in regards to nuclear
disarmament, with the 2006 report by the International Weapons of Mass Destruction
Commission stating that the UNSC has not fulfilled its role of establishing a system for
the regulation of armaments to promote peace and security as set out in Article 26 of
the UN Charter. HOWEVER it has great potential to deal with WMD because it can pass
legislation to govern the worlds actions. 2010 Review Conference had the hopes of
strengthening the NPT after encouraging calls from President Obama in 2009, encourage
India, Pakistan and Israel to sign NPT.
Non-legal responses:
o International Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission
Initiated by Swedish government, chaired by Hans Blix (won Sydney Peace Prize for
efforts on nuclear disarmament).
Set up in response to slow progress of non-proliferation, arms control and
disarmament; facilitates informed public debates.
Major achievement of 2006 report: Weapons of Terror: Freeing the World of
Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, this provided a detailed investigation
of every conceivable aspect of achieving disarmament.
o International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament and the NPT
Review Conference
Political plan initiated by world leaders.
Set up by Rudd government to kick-start global discussion on eliminating nuclear
weapons with the aim of developing tighter rules for the 40year-old NPT.
Report titled Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Guide for Global
Policymakers can be seen to contribute positively to the NPT Review Conference in
o Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
British NGO.
Aims to rid the world of nuclear weapons by non-violent means.
Advocates immediate negotiation for a rapid, timetabled abolition of nuclear forces
Participates in UN conferences on disarmament.
We need to build trust, not bombs; ban all WMP through a legally-binding convention; have
world leaders set an example through drastic cuts in nuclear arsenals.


HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

The success of global cooperation in achieving world order (East Timor and
UN intervention)

UN intervention in East Timor since 1999 is considered a successful example of global

cooperation achieving world order issues including illegal invasion, mass atrocity crime
during Indonesian occupation and violence by pro-Indonesian militias.
East Timor was a case of sovereignty being used to impede resolution of issues: mass
atrocities were denied by the Indonesian authorities and calls for independent observers to
assess the situation were rejected.
Legal responses:
o UN Security Council and Resolution 1246 Ballot to Decide on Special Autonomy for
East Timor: UNSC established the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET)
however this was weak due to undermanned and under-armed civilian police and the
Indonesian authorities resented the UN-sponsored vote for independence and were
uncooperative, paying armed thugs to disrupt the process (Indonesian sovereignty
limited the effectiveness).
o Referendum and Militia Violence: Referendum was effective as East Timorese were able
to convey that 78.5% of the population wanted independence; however, with the lack of
control, this resulted in violent reactions from pro-Indonesian militias destroying 70% of
infrastructure and leaving East Timor without utilities, health care, food or schools.
o UNSC Resolution 1264 authorised the formation of INTERFET (International Force for
East Timor), a UN peacekeeping force under Australian command. Active within days,
aid was able to reach East Timor. Successfully brought East Timor under control within
weeks and expelled the last Indonesian troops by November 1999. This decisive military
action was hailed an outstanding success by Australian forces under UNSC mandate
significant diplomatic pressure not to attack Australians.
o UNTAET (UN Transitional Administration in East Timor) replaced UNTAET with the aim
to lead East Timor to statehood and build the foundation of democracy. Now TimorLeste, it became an independent nation in 2002 and the UN Mission of Support in East
Timor was established by UNSC resolution 1410 to support administrative structures.
o There was clearly a successful halt of militia violence, though criticised for not
anticipating that violence after UN ballot. Considered to have positive outcomes, such as
creation of East Timor as a nation. UN Historian Paul Kennedy asserts that the success of
UN intervention relies heavily of the willingness of a member state namely Australia
to provide military assistance.
Non-legal responses:
o Media: journalists and global media networks broadcast real-time footage of the
murderous rampage of pro-Indonesian militia and the lack of action by the Indonesian
army and police which was highly influential in turning public opinion against Indonesian
occupation and prompting decisive UN action.
o Diplomatic pressure: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan played a major role talking to all
parties involved in pursuit if an end to violence. UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights, Mary Robinson, expressed concern over escalating violence and encouraged
UNSC deployment of forces to East Timor. US President Clinton also pressured Indonesia
to allow UN intervention.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

NGO expertise: work in a range of areas to improve education, health, womens rights
and housing. International Crisis Group (ICG) has played a major role in assisting East
Timorese government and UN administration through reports such as No Time for
Complacency which noted the issues of a weak justice system and corruption which
undermined further improvements in security. ICG is indispensible.
o UN Nation-building: long-term commitment by UN; offers its experience and expertise
so Timor-Leste can be a strong, economically sustainable nation-state characterised by
the rule of law. Resolution 1704 established the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
(UNMIT) in 2006 to extend UN operations into 2010.
o Australian Aid: given strong political and moral support to the Timor-Leste government.
170 scholarships for East Timorese students to study at Aust. universities, medical aid in
the form of 10 000 and 15 000 consultations by Australian medical personnel and
providing specialist training. Also helped train 800 police and train and support
thousands of civil servants. They have also built partnerships with the World Bank and
the UN to help with the coordination of development assistance.
The UN not only guided East Timor to independence in 2002, but has continued nation
building policies in the years since, making it a successful story for global cooperation to
resolve world order issues.
Timor-Leste requires global cooperation to address the task of building institutions,
infrastructure and economic foundations for future peace and security. Constant
cooperation is valuable and necessary seen by Australian commitment and reinforcements
in 2006 and 2008.
Based on global cooperation because:
o UN Security Council working together and giving a strong mandate for intervention.
o Diplomatic pressure exerted on Indonesia by John Howard, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson
and Bill Clinton.
o Media coverage of the violence.
o Australian willingness and capacity with respect to sending military forces in 1999.
o Continual nation building in East Timor.
o Australian long-term commitment to providing assistance.

Rules regarding the conduct of hostilities (International humanitarian law)

International humanitarian law (IHL) body of international law deriving from treaties and
customary practice that governs armed conflict, including rules on the conduct of hostilities
and related issues that arise.
IHL has its origins in the late 19th century with Henri Dunant upon seeing the need for a
permanent relief society and an international treaty to protect volunteers.
This resulted in the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863,
a non-partisan organisation that cares for the sick and wounded in war and was protected
by the First Geneva Convention for the Alleviation of Conditions of the Wounded in Armies
in the Field. The goal of the conventions was the humanisation of conflict.
Legal responses:
o Treaties


HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Primary instruments governing IHL are the four Geneva Conventions. They contain
strict rules to deal with grave breaches, with those responsible being tried or
extradited, regardless of nationality.
First G.C protects wounded soldiers and religious/medical personnel.
Second G.C. protects wounded, sick and shipwrecked personnel and medical
Third G.C. protects prisoners of war (particularly release and reparation).
Fourth G.C. protects civilians.
All conventions include Article 3 for intrastate armed conflict including civil wars
and internal conflicts which is significant given the nature of armed conflict today.
Customary international law is general practice accepted by the international
community. In 2005, the ICRC identified 161 such rules.
o Courts
ICRC was instrumental in creating the ICC (proposed by Gustav Moynier, founder of
the ICRC).
Initially failed to eventuate out of Paris Peace Conference 1919.
Ad hoc tribunals established in response to mass killings in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.
Hague conferences in 1899 and 1907 led to the establishment of a Permanent Court
of Arbitration.
1998 160 countries and 200 NGOs participated in a conference resulting in the
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Entered into force in 2002 after
its 60th ratification, giving authority and enforceability to the Geneva Conventions
which previously depended on state prosecution. Individuals can now be
prosecuted for war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.
o Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo: The Geneva Conventions Defied
Indicates the inability to enforce Geneva Conventions US breaches in the pursuit
of terrorism, secret orders given to allow the use of various torture methods on
detainees in US detention.
US claimed as terrorists they were unlawful combatants and therefore outside the
protection of the Geneva Conventions.
US military limited Red Cross visits to detention facilities.
Prison established for war on terror at military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Claim that constitutional protections of life, liberty and property and protection
from cruel and unusual punishment did not extend to foreigners held outside US
borders, and nor did the Convention Against Torture, and other Cruel, Inhuman and
Degrading Treatment; signed and ratified in 1994 Bush administration damaged
USs international reputation.
Red Cross issued a damning report when photos were released of Iraqi victims in
Abu Ghraib prison.
Inmates such as David Hicks held without charge photos of treatment could anger
Muslims and lead to further attacks on the Western world.
Obama announced its closure in 2009 and discussed an inquiry into Bush
administration personnel.
Non-legal responses:


HSC Legal Studies


Option 7: World Order

ICRC plays a significant role in educating military forces of the world and the general
public about the requirements of IHL.
Detailed guides for treatment of victims, humanitarian workers, UN peacekeepers,
journalists and soldiers.
Extended education programs in schools to raise awareness in next generation.
In armed conflict, the ICRC acts as a neutral party and has the right to free movement
across battle lines. They are engaged in visiting prison, internment and labour camps,
evaluating the condition of prisoners of war, providing food, medicine, clothes and
blankets to those in need as well as facilitating the exchange of information between
people on both sides of the conflict about prisoners of war and missing persons.
ICRC has offices in more than 60 countries and conducts operations in about 80


HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

Themes and challenges

The role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict in
regard to world order.

UN Charter laid out mechanisms for encouraging cooperation for the purpose of
safeguarding human rights and promoting social and economic progress. It also gave
guidelines for resolving disputes using peaceful means and for the use of force by the UNSC
if all else fails.
ICRC educates all military forces to educate personnel about the rule of law, particularly the
Geneva Conventions and educates the community to alleviate suffering.
NGOs use education and persuasion to encourage global cooperation.
Multilateralism is an approach to world order that draws on the individual and collective
strengths of the various parties, and is generally the most effective way to resolve conflicts.
Peacekeeping has been strengthened with the 1990s by UNSC willingness to use Chapter VII
power to give its operations legal authority.

Compliance and non-compliance in world order contexts.

Interdependence of states encourages greater compliance with international law.

State sovereignty can be used as an impediment to compliance with international law, but
may also encourage compliance when two or more states agree on world order issues.
Likelihood of international condemnation for failure to comply with Geneva Convention and
other mechanisms to regulate hostilities.
UNSC intervention in East Timor in 1999 secured Indonesian compliance.
International courts and tribunals seek to enforce individuals compliance with international
law by providing a means to bring people to justice when their countries cannot or will not
take action.
Force, persuasion and political negotiation are generally used to obtain states compliance.
Force alone is generally ineffective in producing long-term compliance; hence the need for
more measured, long-term approaches, such as represented by R2P and the Peace Building

The effect of changing values and ethical standards on world order.

UN charter represents a fundamental change in world order; it declared war to be illegal

except in specified conditions, and declared the protection of human rights to be one of the
global communitys main priorities.
The universal Declaration of Human Rights marked a fundamental change in the values of
the international community and laid the foundation for a major new branch of international
The Genocide Convention declared that the international community will never again
tolerate the sort of genocide carried out by the Nazis against the Jews in WWII.

HSC Legal Studies

Option 7: World Order

R2P places the security of individuals at the centre of the international communitys
concern, rather than the security of states.
UNSC Resolution 1887 and 2009 marked a return to multilateral cooperation in dealing with
the threat of nuclear war.

The role of law reform in promoting and maintaining world order.

Doctrine of R2P spreads and all organisations involved in difficult regimes with little regard
for citizens will have clear guidelines of how to proceed.
Geneva Conventions have been subject to ongoing improvement over the past 150 years;
the ICRC continues to educate both the public and all military forces about the Conventions
as well as monitor their observance.
The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty has roved very useful in limiting proliferation to a small
number of countries. However, genuine reform must occur from 2010 to tighten the treaty
and enforce compliance by intransigent states, as well as to reduce nuclear stockpiles
UN peacekeeping was grafted onto the UN system to meet urgent need during the Cold
War. Since then it has been accepted as performing an invaluable role in maintaining world
The ICC plays a critical role in enforcing international humanitarian rights law and
international humanitarian law.

The effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses in promoting and

maintaining world order.

Most international law is made by treaties, which therefore have a major role in giving order
and direction to global governance.
UNSC resolutions have the force of law and are binding upon all UN member states.
However, it is only since the 1990s that a level of cooperation has existed between the
permanent members of the UNSC to allow their effective operation. If he UNSC embers are
prepared to back them with action, UNSC resolutions can be the most powerful legal
The advent of the ad hoc tribunals in the 1990s marked the beginning of a new chapter in
using international courts to maintain world order by prosecuting serious breaches.
NGOs use investigation, research, education and lobbying to promote the welfare of
individuals and groups.
Wise political leadership is always a necessary ingredient for promoting a just and stable
world order.