Virtual lecture at the International Law Forum of the Hebrew University
20. December, Professor Freya Baetens gave a well-attended virtual lecture on the protection of global public goods at the International Law Forum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Illustration photo of the International Court of Justice: Colourbox.com
Baetens' presentation was entitled 'Protecting global public goods through erga omnes obligations: From the International Court of Justice to domestic litigation?’
The presentation was based on a paper which begins by outlining the concept of a global public good, as it has developed in social science and the international legal literature, to emphasise the importance of facilitating access to dispute settlement mechanisms for all members of the international community who benefit from the provision or protection of a global public goods. This is expressed legally through the emergence of obligations erga omnes and erga omnes partes.
The ability of international courts and tribunals to address newly emerging and widely varying global challenges is not only impeded by the need to obtain State consent to new rules of international law, but also by the lack of State consent to international adjudicatory mechanisms. This has caused an apparent inability of the international legal system to consistently and successfully enforce the rules that are already in existence, particularly with regard to the protection of global public goods. The main argument put forward in this paper is that the design of the international legal system does not require a drastic overhaul in order to protect global public goods, but to enhance the standing of all members of international community with a view to strengthening the ties between existing norms of international law and accessible dispute settlement mechanisms. The traditional avenue of State claims before the International Courts of Justice (ICJ) is first examined, before turning to alternative avenues on both the international and domestic planes.