Public International Law Law Case Study Research Paper (Case Study Sample)
International Law and Global Justice
Note that you answer two questions from a possible five. All questions carry equal weight. Please indicate clearly which questions you are answering.
WORD COUNT: 3, 500 words (includes footnotes but excludes bibliography)
1. Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo are states on Asgard Island. The Jakku River flows through the island from Alderaan in the north to Tatooine and Naboo in the south. The Jakku River, which provides the border between Tatooine and Naboo, is fundamental to the way of life of the Gungan, a people indigenous to Asgard Island. The Gungan live close to the Jakku River in each of the three states.
2. When Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo gained independence in the 1960’s, the Gungan began a campaign to safeguard their way of life, in particular access to and use of the Jakku River. The campaign was spearheaded by the Gungan Peoples Party (GPP). By the 1970’s the campaign had become violent, with protests outside government buildings in Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo resulting in riots. As a result Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo concluded the Jakku River Treaty 1981 which, amongst others, provides:
Reaffirming the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including the principle of sovereign equality and the inviolability of territorial integrity and political independence;
Recognising the right of peoples to self-determination;
. . . .
Article 1. In recognising the importance of the Jakku River for the way of life of the Gungan people, the states parties:
(1) Shall not impede access to or use of the Jakku River by the Gungan people; and,
(2) Shall establish and finance a Jakku River Committee with the purpose of consulting with states parties and the Gungan people regarding any proposed changes in the management and/or use of the Jakku River
Article 2. The states parties recognise the right of the Gungan people to self-determination and, to this end, the Gungan people shall have a degree of self-government in the territories of Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo
. . . .
Article 9. States party to the treaty may, upon signature and ratification, enter reservations provided that such reservations are not contrary to the object and purpose of the treaty
. . . .
Article 11 (1). Disputes arising from the interpretation, application or fulfilment of this treaty, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.
3. Tatooine and Naboo signed and ratified the Treaty in December 1981. The 1981 Treaty came into force in June 1982 when Alderaan signed and ratified the treaty, with the Prime Minister stating:
It is with a heavy heart that we sign this treaty as it undermines our sovereignty. It limits our freedom to use the Jakku River for our prosperity and obliges us to recognise the Gungan people. We take back some of our sovereignty by refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of the International Court – Tatooine and Naboo, take note of our reservation.
4. Following the 1981 Treaty, the GPP assumed responsibility for health and education of the Gungan people in Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo. By the 1990’s, fishermen in Alderaan were regularly clashing with Gungans over access to the Jakku River, often resulting in violence. As tensions escalated, a new political party formed in Alderaan, The StormTroopers, which pledged to ‘Take back the Jakku River’. The StormTroopers swept to victory in the May 2010 elections, following the global financial crisis that decimated Alderaan’s economy. Within days the new President of Alderaan, Lord Vader, addressed the nation:
The Gungans are the blight on our prosperity. No longer! The GPP are outlawed; health and education of the Gungan people is the responsibility of government – our government, for and by the people of Alderaan. Our prosperity will be assured by our new dam, finally harnessing the might of the Jakku River for the benefit of the people of Alderaan.
Lady Padme, the Prime Minister of Naboo and President Skywalker of Tatooine issued a joint statement deploring the breaches of the 1981 Treaty, specifically Article 1(1) and Article 2, and announcing the withdrawal of funding for the Jakku River Committee.
5. The Gungan in Naboo, exasperated by Lady Padme’s response and alarmed by the reports of repression of Gungans in Alderaan, formed the Gungan Liberation Army (GLA). Its leader, Captain Chewbacca, cited the ‘breach of the Jakku River Treaty’, ‘the oppression of the Gungan people by the Alderaan government’ and ‘the failure to respect the right of the Gungan people to self-determination’ as reason to ‘take up arms in the struggle for independence’. In December 2010, the GLA began a sustained bombing campaign, targeting government buildings in Alderaan, prompting President Vader to tweet:
We have, today, ordered airstrikes against key GLA positions within Naboo to, once and for all, get rid of this thorn in our side and threat to the territorial integrity and political independence of our wonderful country. States who harbour or assist the Gungan people will feel the wrath of Alderaan
6. The evening news carried reports of airstrikes on government buildings and military posts in Naboo. With the GLA stepping up its bombing campaign, reports emerged of widespread rape, torture and killings of the Gungan people by Alderaan troops, along with allegations of torture and killing of government officials and civilians by the GLA. Advocates for Human Rights, an independent human rights organisation, reported that hundreds of Gungan people had crossed the borders from Alderaan and Naboo into Tatooine.
7. President Skywalker of Tatooine, anticipating the wrath of Lord Vader for supporting the Gungans, authorised missile attacks on key military infrastructure in Alderaan in June 2011. The resultant airstrikes caused massive damage to local infrastructure, notably schools and hospitals with many reported killed or injured.
8. By October 2015, amid further reports of rape, torture and killing of the Gungan people by Alderaan troops, the GPP called for a referendum on independence from Alderaan and Naboo and union with Tatooine. The referendum was organised hastily, with financial and logistical support from Tatooine, and 96% of those who took part voted to separate from Alderaan and Naboo and to become part of the state of Tatooine. On the 12th November 2015, the GPP declared independence and formally requested union with Tatooine. President Skywalker welcomed the referendum result and, in December 2015, the Tatooine parliament passed a resolution approving the incorporation of Gungan as an autonomous province of Tatooine.
9. In May 2016, Tatooine and Naboo submitted applications to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging material breaches of the Jakku River Treaty and requesting termination. Naboo also allege violations of the prohibition on the threat or use of force by Alderaan. The ICJ also receives an application from Alderaan alleging a violation of the prohibition on the threat or use of force by Tatooine.
10. Alderaan, Tatooine and Naboo are members of the UN. Naboo has made a declaration under Article 36(2) of the Statute of the ICJ, accepting the jurisdiction of the ICJ except ‘in cases involving the use of force’. Alderaan has also made a declaration under Article 36(2) of the ICJ Statute, accepting the jurisdiction of the ICJ, except ‘in cases involving self-determination’. Tatooine and Naboo are parties to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Naboo and Alderaan are parties to the Rome Statute.
Please answer two of the following five questions, clearly indicating which questions you are answering. All questions carry equal weight. Where relevant, please ensure that you address all parts of the question.
1. Critically evaluate the law on the use of force, specifically whether the uses of force by Alderaan and Tatooine are lawful.
2. Do the Gungan people have the right to secede? What is the legal effect of the referendum and declaration of independence?
3. Critically consider whether Tatooine and Naboo would be successful in claiming a material breach of the Jakku River Treaty and whether there are any grounds for declining to terminate the Treaty.
4. Does the International Court of Justice have jurisdiction:
a. To decide the cases brought by Tatooine and Naboo against Alderaan
b. To decide the case brought by Alderaan against Tatooine
5. Could the International Criminal Court investigate and prosecute:
a. President Vader for the alleged attacks by Alderaan troops on the Gungan people, resulting in death and injury?
b. Members of the GLA for the alleged torture and killings of Alderaan government officials?
c. President Skywalker in respect of the airstrikes on Alderaan which reportedly struck hospitals and schools, resulting in civilian casualties?
• Presentation and understanding of the law within its wider context
• Evidence of critical and creative reflection on the material used and conclusions reached
• Critical analysis of the relevant issues, and arguments, identifying and evaluating competing perspectives and applying legal understanding to problem scenarios
• Depth and breadth of research, with the ability to judge the significance of the evidence used to support conclusions and recommendations
• The structure of the work so that statements, arguments and conclusions flow coherently and logically
• Communication in good English
INTERNATIONAL LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT: A CASE STUDY
Question 1: Critically Evaluate the Law on The Use of Force, Specifically Whether the Uses of Force by Alderaan And Tatooine are Lawful
The Law on the Use of Force
The text and spirit of the UN Charter is designed to promote a peaceful coexistence of nations and the avoidance of war as much as possible. Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter thus states, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The text of this article prohibits both the threat and the use of force against states or non-state actors. This is further supported by Article 33 of the Charter, which requires member states that are parties to any dispute to prioritize negotiated solutions based on enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration or peaceful settlements spearheaded by regional agencies or arrangements before resorting to war, or acts of aggression that may likely endanger the maintenance of international peace and security. Where parties to a dispute are unable to reach a peaceful settlement by means outlined in Article 33, Article 37 of the UN Charter further directs parties to a dispute to refer the dispute the UN Security Council for a possible mediation as opposed to resorting to war or the threat of war.
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