The publications listed here represent a small selection of the work of staff members of the GCILS. To see full listings of publications please click through to the University of Glasgow main webpages in each individual staff member profile.

Proportionality as Procedure: Strengthening the Legitimate Authority of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

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The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) has a new mechanism to receive individual complaints and issue views. This development makes the question of how the CESCR should interpret the broad articles of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights more pressing than ever. Most commentators on the legitimacy of the CESCR’s interpretation have argued that interpreters should make better use of Articles 31-33 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) in order to improve the legitimacy of their findings. In this article, we argue conversely that the individual communication mechanism should be evaluated and reformed in terms of legitimate authority. In the context of the CESCR’s process of interpretation, we contend that proportionality is better suited than the various interpretive options of the VCLT to offer a consistent procedure that is able to generate legitimacy by attenuating the tension between personal and collective autonomy.

GCILS Working Papers

Antoinette Scherz (PluriCourts, University of Oslo)

The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security

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The Oxford Handbook of the International Law of Global Security provides a ground-breaking overview of the relationship between international law and global security. It constitutes a comprehensive and systematic mapping of the various sub-fields of international law dealing with global security challenges, and offers authoritative guidance on key trends and debates around the relationship between public international law and global security governance. This Handbook highlights the central role of public international law in an effective global security architecture and, in doing so, addresses some of the most pressing legal and policy challenges of our time. The Handbook features original contributions by leading scholars and practitioners from a wide range of professional and disciplinary backgrounds, reflecting the fluidity of the concept of global security and the diversity of scholarship in this area.

Handbook, Oxford University Press: Oxford

ISBN: 9780198827276

The Challenges of Legalised Peacemaking: The Case of the 2012-2016 Peace Negotiations in Colombia

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In Turner, C. & Waehlisch, M. (eds) Rethinking Peace Mediation: Challenges of Contemporary Peacemaking Practice (Bristol University Press 2021)

‘Introduction: Framing the Relationship between International Law and Peace Settlements’ (with Mark Retter and Marc Weller)

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This introductory chapter identifies the key questions and themes for the International Law and Peace Settlements volume, and provides a framework and conceptual map for analysing the relationship between international law and peace settlement practice. In particular, it examines the concepts of peace and war, and their relation to law, before developing a working lexicon for peace agreements and settlements. The chapter then critically examines the legal character of peace agreements and settlement commitments as ‘legal tools’ for peace-making. This analysis provides essential foundations to map out the ways in which peace settlements and international law can interact. Those forms of interaction become key focal points for the various contributions in the remainder of the volume. The thematic rationale and structure of the volume is explained to orientate the reader in light of its key themes and questions.

in: Marc Weller, Mark Retter & Andrea Varga (eds.), International Law and Peace Settlements (CUP, 2021)

9781108627856

‘Witnesses and Guarantors: Third-Party Obligations and the Internationalisation of Peace Agreements’

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While third states and international organisations often co-sign peace agreements in the capacity of witnesses or guarantors, little is understood of the legal consequences flowing from these roles. The chapter aims to fill this gap. First, it highlights that the mere designation of witness or guarantor leads to few consequences. Second, it analyses how specific third-party rights and obligations are established and conceptualised under VCLT rules, extended by analogy to intra-state peace agreements. Third, it provides a brief illustration of common third-party rights and obligations in peace agreements. Finally, it examines whether the involvement of third parties can internationalise an intra-state peace agreement, i.e. render it to be governed by international law. Bringing together views from the literature, jurisprudence and the preceding analysis on the structure of third-party rights and obligations, the chapter concludes that such rights and obligations can be internationalised, in a manner that can only extend to the agreement as a whole when inseparable from the rest of the agreement.

in: Marc Weller, Mark Retter & Andrea Varga (eds.), International Law and Peace Settlements (CUP, 2021)

9781108627856

Entrenching Peace in Law: Do Peace Agreements Possess International Legal Status?

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Some 650 peace agreements have been concluded between governments and armed opposition groups since 1990. These agreements often do not fulfil the criteria of sources in domestic or international law: they are negotiated outside the established lawmaking channels of domestic law and are signed by armed opposition groups, which are traditionally not accorded treaty-making capacity in international law. Yet many scholars contend that the international legal status of peace agreements should be recognised either as international(ised) or hybrid agreements. In some peace processes, negotiating parties also intend to attach international legal status to their agreement. Consequently, a rich repertoire has emerged on the question of the international legal status of peace agreements across the practice of peacemaking, United Nations Security Council (‘UNSC’) practice, domestic and international judicial and arbitral decisions, and scholarship. Providing a comprehensive examination of this repertoire, this article demonstrates that peace agreements are not yet attributed legal status in international law. However, it is also explained that the lack of international legal status of peace agreements does not yield their conclusion and implementation as precarious, as is often feared. Attaching international legal status to peace agreements would neither shield them from all domestic and international judicial challenges nor necessarily function as an incentive to conclude and comply with a peace agreement. The article concludes on the note that the lack of international legal status does not relegate peace agreements to ‘scraps of paper’, as the implementation of peace agreements can be enhanced by incorporation into domestic law and through international oversight mechanisms, including the tools at the disposal of the UNSC.

Melbourne Journal of International, 2020, Vol 21(1)