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The 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in November
2014 is an appropriate occasion for reviewing its record of achievements and
challenges in protecting children's rights worldwide. Clear accomplishments to
build on are the comprehensive nature of the Convention and its capacity to
accommodate the largely diverse contexts in which its provisions are to be
realized. In addition, widespread and massive law reform is one of the most
tangible achievements stimulated by the Convention. Finally, the existence and
performance of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, charged with monitoring
the implementation of the Convention, has been assessed positively. Most
recently, this was rewarded with the entry into force of the third Optional
Protocol to the Convention, which introduced communications procedures including
individual and state complaints mechanisms. After having reviewed this record of
selected achievements critically, four selected major challenges that still
stand in the way of the fuller realization of the Convention will be presented
more briefly. The main reason for this difference in emphasis is that, on the
whole, the achievements speak more significantly to issues concerning the
progressive development of international law while the challenges are, on the
whole, more of a practical nature. The latter are: the persistence of poverty
and other root causes of many child rights problems; difficulties in permeating
into the private – including domestic and corporate –
sphere where a considerable number of child rights violations occur but which
are still hardly covered explicitly by international human rights law; and
issues concerning the availability of data and resources.
In recent years, counter-terrorism measures have notably reshaped the relationship between terrorist suspects and the state. In this context, the discourse surrounding the lack of a uniform and comprehensive definition of terrorism at the international level has reoccurred. In the course of this contribution, clear lines will be drawn between the lack of an international definition of terrorism and certain transnationally important domestic trends relevant to the definition and countering of terrorism. Each section will focus on a particular aspect of the debate surrounding the term ‘terrorism’ with the aim of contextualising the development of the definitional vacuum and its impact on state counter-terrorism particularly after 9/11. It will be argued that an internationally binding definition of terrorism might not in fact have an impact on state counter-terrorism measures and domestic definitions of terrorism. This contribution will conclude that in the context of domestic and transnational legislative developments following 9/11, even if a definition of terrorism existed in international law, in practice there is no certainty that states will comply with it both in times of normalcy and emergency.
This article first examines the entire range of agency relationships between an international organisation, acting as a principal, and one or more states, acting as its agent(s). It is here argued that an agency relationship between an international organisation and one or more state(s) can be established by the constitutive treaty of the organisation, or ad hoc. In particular, an ad hoc agency relationship results from a state placing one of its organs at the disposal of an international organisation and under its effective control, with the purpose of carrying out functions of that organisation.
The article then examines the consequences for the responsibility of the organisation and the relevant state(s) of an agency relationship between an international organisation acting as a principal and one or more states acting as its agent(s). It is demonstrated that an international organisation may be responsible for damage caused by the conduct of the state. Furthermore, it is argued that the state itself may bear responsibility for having established or for not having terminated the agency relationship if it commits wrongful conduct on behalf of the international organisation.