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.

Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea: The Legal Framework for Counter-Piracy Operations in Somalia and the Gulf of Aden

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Since 2008 increasing pirate activities in Somalia, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean have once again drawn the international community's attention to piracy and armed robbery at sea. States are resolved to repress these impediments to the free flow of trade and navigation. To this end, a number of multinational counter-piracy missions have been deployed to the region. This book describes the enforcement powers that States may rely upon in their quest to repress piracy in the larger Gulf of Aden region. The piracy rules of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the legal safeguards applicable to maritime interception operations are scrutinized before the analysis turns to the criminal prosecution of pirates and armed robbers at sea. The discussion includes so-called shiprider agreements, the transfers of alleged offenders to regional states, the jurisdictional bases for prosecuting pirates, and the feasibility of an international(ized) venue for their trial. In addressing a range of relevant issues, this book presents a detailed and comprehensive up-to-date analysis of the legal issues pertaining to the repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea and assesses whether the currently existing legal regime is still adequate to effectively counter piracy in the 21st century.

Anna Petrig

Enforcing Obligations Erga Omnes in International Law

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The concept of obligations erga omnes - obligations to the international community as a whole - has fascinated international lawyers for decades, yet its precise implications remain unclear. This book assesses how this concept affects the enforcement of international law. It shows that all States are entitled to invoke obligations erga omnes in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, and to take countermeasures in response to serious erga omnes breaches. In addition, it suggests ways of identifying obligations that qualify as erga omnes. In order to sustain these results, the book conducts a thorough examination of international practice and jurisprudence as well as the recent work of the UN International Law Commission in the field of State responsibility. By so doing, it demonstrates that the erga omnes concept is solidly grounded in modern international law, and clarifies one of the central aspects of the international regime of law enforcement. The dissertation, upon which this book is based, was awarded the 2005 Yorke Prize of the Faculty of Law of the University of Cambridge.

Rechtsontologie und Practische Vernunft [Legal Ontology and Practical Reason]

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In der gegenwärtigen analytischen Rechtsphilosophie wird die Debatte um die Objektivität des Rechts von reduktionistischen und metaphysischen Auffassungen dominiert, die oft in eine Sackgasse führen. Anders als diese Strategien greift der Autor in seiner Darstellung auf das begriffliche Arsenal der modernen analytischen Ontologie zurück. Rechtsnormen werden als abstrakte Entitäten aufgefasst, die innerhalb von semantischen Strukturen vorkommen. So gelingt es ihm, die Unergiebigkeit reduktionistischer und metaphysischer Positionen der Objektivität zu vermeiden, auch wenn die normative Natur des Rechts hierdurch noch nicht erklärt wird. Letzteres erfolgt durch den Nachweis, dass die genannten semantischen Strukturen argumentativer Natur sind. Dazu greift der Verfasser auf die Diskurs- und Argumentationstheorie des Rechts zurück und zeigt, dass die ontologische Struktur des Rechts dank dessen argumentativer bzw. diskursiver Natur auf die Sprachpragmatik zurückgeführt werden kann. Diese verweist auf eine grundlegende Autonomienorm kantischen Charakters, die aus den Grundvoraussetzungen der Argumentation abgeleitet werden kann. Auf diese Weise lässt sich zeigen, dass die Ontologie des Rechts, und mithin seine Objektivität, auf den formal-moralischen Gehalt einer Autonomiegrundnorm angewiesen ist.

Targeted Killing in International Law

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This book is a comprehensive analysis of the lawfulness of state-sponsored targeted killings under international human rights and humanitarian law. It examines treaties, custom, and general principles of law to determine two distinct normative paradigms which govern the intentional use of lethal force against selected individuals in law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities. It also addresses the relevance of the law of interstate force to targeted killings, and the interrelation of the various normative frameworks which may simultaneously apply to operations involving the use of lethal force. The book shows in what circumstances targeted killings may be considered as internationally lawful. The practical relevance of the various conditions and modalities are illustrated by reference to concrete examples of targeted killing from recent state practice. The book argues that any targeted killing not directed against a legitimate military target remains subject to the law enforcement paradigm, which imposes extensive restraints on the practice. Even under the paradigm of hostilities, no person can be lawfully liquidated without further considerations. As a form of individualized or surgical warfare, the method of targeted killing requires a ‘microscopic’ interpretation of the law regulating the conduct of hostilities which leads to nuanced results reflecting the fundamental principles underlying international humanitarian law. It concludes by highlighting and comparing the main areas of concern arising with regard to state-sponsored targeted killing, and by placing the results of the analysis in the greater context of the rule of law

Our Knowledge of the Law: Objectivity and Practice in Legal Theory

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In the long-standing debate between positivism and non-positivism, legal validity has always been a subject of controversy. While positivists deny that moral values play any role in the determination of legal validity, non-positivists affirm the opposite thesis. In departing from this narrow point of view, the book focuses on the notion of legal knowledge. Apart from what one takes to constitute the grounds of legal validity, there is a more fundamental issue about cognitive validity: how do we acquire knowledge of whatever is assumed to constitute the elements of legal validity? When the question is posed in this form a fundamental shift takes place. Given that knowledge is a philosophical concept, for anything to constitute an adequate ground for legal validity it must satisfy the standards set by knowledge. In exploring those standards the author argues that knowledge is the outcome of an activity of judging, which is constrained by reasons (reflexive). While these reasons may vary with the domain of judging, the reflexive structure of the practice of judging imposes certain constraints on what can constitute a reason for judging. Amongst these constraints are found not only general metaphysical limitations but also the fundamental principle that one with the capacity to judge is autonomous or, in other words, capable of determining the reasons that form the basis of action. One sees, as soon as autonomy has been introduced into the parameters of knowledge, that law is necessarily connected with every other practical domain. The author shows, in the end, that the issue of knowledge is orthogonal to questions about the inclusion or exclusion of morality, for what really matters is whether the putative grounds of legal validity are appropriate to the generation of knowledge. The outcome is far more integral than much work in current theory: neither an absolute deference to either universal moral standards or practice-independent values nor a complete adherence to conventionality and institutional arrangements will do. In suggesting that the current positivism versus non-positivism debate, when it comes to determining law's nature, misses the crux of the matter, the book aims to provoke a fertile new debate in legal theory.

‘League of Nations’

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World War I to World War II Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

in R. Wolfrum (ed) Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (OUP, 2006)