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This article examines the approaches taken by the Asian Development Bank Administrative Tribunal and the Administrative Tribunal of the Inter-American Development Bank Group in deciding discrimination claims. The article reviews the basic features of each tribunal before examining their jurisprudence on equality of treatment and issues of information disclosure in discrimination cases. Decisions to date have addressed claims of disparate treatment relating to various aspects of remuneration and benefits as well as allegations of arbitrary treatment vis-à-vis others similarly situated. A few cases have involved allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, one of several protected grounds in equality law. The number of judicial dissents in discrimination cases suggests that the tribunals have encountered some difficulty in handling them. The article points to a gradual but still incomplete approximation of the decisions of such tribunals to contemporary developments in discrimination law, and suggests a possible way forward.
This chapter focuses on the environmental diplomacy surrounding the World Commission on Environment and Development, popularly known as the “Brundtland Commission.” This process popularized the concept of sustainable development. The chapter begins by detailing the substantial changes seen in international environmental conditions through the mid-1980s, brought about largely by the Third World Debt crisis. These shifts created a rapidly deteriorating global environmental context and necessitated significant changes in institutional arrangements. The need for institutional change was a central finding of the important 1987 “Brundtland report,” titled Our Common Future. The Brundtland Commission highlighted a rapid deterioration in the world environment and underlined the need for major institutional change. Some actors sought to realize such change at the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, when the report and its call for action were presented to world leaders. Coordination was hindered, however, by divergent expectations and the absence of a Temporal Focal Point. While states were incentivized to cooperate rapidly to address problems in global environmental governance, the institutional status quo prevailed.
The conclusion summarizes and discusses the principal findings of the book, highlighting the role of temporal coordination dilemmas and Temporal Focal Points in patterns of continuity and change in international institutions. After relating these findings to other theoretical approaches, the chapter discusses the theoretical implications of the analysis contained in this book for the study of change in international institutions. The chapter provides an extended discussion of policy implications, including how international actors can employ the logic of temporal coordination in modernizing global institutions in the current international setting. It concludes with an analysis of the current context in global environmental and sustainable development politics, analyzing progress in combatting global challenges, such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It argues that the international community has incentives to realize institutional change and that a Temporal Focal Point could soon emerge.
This chapter introduces the concept of Temporal Focal Points in explaining change in international institutions. In doing so, it elaborates theoretically the arguments contained in the introductory chapter. It models the coordination challenge facing states as a stag hunt game, where international actors can all benefit if they are able to cooperate. In hunting stag – or, engaging in institutional change efforts – actors can move to a Pareto-superior, payoff-dominant equilibrium. The challenge that they face is that if they hunt stag and others do not, they will expend scarce assets and end up significantly worse off. The risk of acting cooperatively when others do not leads actors to persist at inferior, risk-dominant equilibria. This can change suddenly, however, when actors reach a temporal convergence of expectations. The convergence is often facilitated by the arrival of Temporal Focal Points. The heightened probability of successful coordination leads to sharp increases in political and analytical investments. The chapter concludes with a discussion of methodology and case selection.
This chapter focuses on the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the Rio “Earth Summit.” It shows how, despite incentives to address institutional dysfunction and mounting global environmental problems by institutionalizing sustainable development within the United Nations system, divergent expectations persisted until momentum built toward UNCED. The Rio conference, which marked the twentieth anniversary of the 1972 Stockholm conference, emerged as a Temporal Focal Point in United Nations environmental politics. Convergent expectations triggered a significant increase in political and analytical investments in change processes from state and non-state actors, leading to a transformation of the informational and political context. These investments produced significant institutional change, including the creation of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the institutionalization of the World Bank-operated Global Environment Facility. States also launched the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, a set of Forest Principles, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
This chapter analyzes United Nations environmental politics from 1993 to 2021, focusing heavily on the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), or the “Johannesburg summit,” and the 2012 “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). The chapter examines the institutional ambiguities created by the 1992 Rio “Earth Summit” and international efforts to address them. It analyzes in detail failed institutional bargaining surrounding WSSD and carries the empirical investigation forward to the Rio+20 summit. The second Rio Earth Summit constituted a Temporal Focal Point in the history of United Nations environment governance and precipitated large-scale institutional change. Among the significant institutional changes emerging from the conference were the transformation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the creation of a High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), and the approval of a process for articulating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. The chapter also provides a brief discussion of more recent UN environmental cooperation, focusing on UNEP, the HLPF, and the SDGs, including progress in combatting climate change and the loss of biodiversity.
This chapter introduces a new framework that analyzes the role of timing and temporality in international institutions and world politics. It describes the temporal coordination dilemmas facing international actors. The chapter details the challenges posed by gradually accumulating incentives to alter international institutions and by the large number of actors that must be brought into the picture if institutional change efforts are to succeed. In realizing major change, a large array of moving pieces must be synchronized at one point in time, entailing considerable complexity and transaction costs. Indeed, the political and analytical investments – both international and domestic in nature – involved in recasting institutions are very substantial. Actors’ willingness to incur a sharp increase in transaction costs depends on their expectations that others will engage in a parallel effort. Thus, even as incentives to alter institutions mount, the inertial drift of institutional life persists until actors are able to reach a temporal convergence of expectations. At that time, actors make substantial investments in change processes and alter fundamentally their bargaining behavior.
This chapter provides a detailed analysis of the state of United Nations environmental cooperation between 1963 and 1972, focusing extensively on the 1972 “Stockholm conference.” It shows how a gradual deterioration of the global environment since the Industrial Revolution produced growing incentives to increase the level of international cooperation in global environmental politics. These incentives lay unrealized for more than a decade, however, until momentum gathered in the lead-up to the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. The Stockholm conference, which became a landmark event, produced substantial institutional change, including a Declaration, Action Plan, and ultimately the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The conference, which was originally planned as a largely technical affair, gathered a momentum that was unanticipated by all when it was initially proposed. This momentum is explained by the emergence of a Temporal Focal Point triggered by a series of visible environmental incidents that highlighted long-standing institutional suboptimality. The Stockholm Temporal Focal Point was crystallized by an entrepreneurial conference secretariat led by Maurice Strong.
This chapter offers a new framework for theorizing about the roles of different types of actors who participate in processes of cross-fertilization. All of these actors have complex or mixed motives: while actors may place some value on the coherence of the international legal system, they weigh such systemic concerns against other, more immediate concerns. International judges, for example, may place value on the coherence of the international legal system, but they may place greater emphasis on the autonomy of their own specialized or regional legal order, on the normative values of that order and on their own authority within that order. Other actors, by contrast, may place little or no value on international legal coherence, but favor or oppose cross-fertilization as a function of its effect on the their likelihood of prevailing in a dispute. In a world of complex actor preferences, the process of cross-fertilization is likely to resemble, not a consensual process of management, but a constant struggle among a wide variety of actors, some of whom will champion cross-fertilization while others seek to prevent or limit it.
As wildfires rage, pollution thickens, and species disappear, the world confronts environmental crisis with a set of global institutions in urgent need of reform. Yet, these institutions have proved frustratingly resistant to change. Introducing the concept of Temporal Focal Points, Manulak shows how change occurs in world politics. By re-envisioning the role of timing and temporality in social relations, his analysis presents a new approach to understanding transformative phases in international cooperation. We may now be entering such a phase, he argues, and global actors must be ready to realize the opportunities presented. Charting the often colorful and intensely political history of change in global environmental politics, this book sheds new light on the actors and institutions that shape humanity's response to planetary decline. It will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of international relations, international organization and environmental politics and history.
This chapter examines the post-1972 Stockholm conference phase of institution-building in global environmental governance from 1973 to 1982, with particular attention to the early development of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP, which was formally launched in December 1972, accumulated a mixed record in fostering global environmental cooperation. After analyzing UNEP’s early years, the chapter provides a detailed treatment of UNEP’s 1982 Governing Council “Session of a Special Character.” The “Nairobi conference,” much neglected in the literature, marked the 10th anniversary of UNEP and served a focal point for analysis of global environmental issues. Despite the efforts of UNEP’s Executive Director, Mostafa Tolba, international conditions had not opened up incentives sufficient to motivate significant institutional change in 1982. Thus, with a few minor adjustments, the institutional status quo prevailed following the Nairobi conference.
This paper brings forward Justice Pal's dissenting opinion at the Tokyo Tribunal to add to Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) literature on international criminal law and the rules of evidence and procedure. It is part of a TWAIL effort to scrutinize the everyday practices of international prosecutions through procedural and evidentiary rules. By locating and situating Justice Pal's reasoning within the broader academic literature on dissents in international criminal law, it is possible to illustrate how and why Justice Pal's views were obscured as a relevant dissent. From this vantage point, this paper pursues Justice Pal's legacy as it relates to the rules of evidence and procedure in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. It traces the evolution of the judicial power to draft and amend these rules, and examines the impact of these decisions on the everyday functions of the tribunals and how truth is determined.
This note tries to determine the most appropriate way to position international administrative tribunals (established by a number of inter-governmental organizations) in the public international legal order, and identify the substance of the so-called international administrative law applied therein. There is an emerging group of laws arising from numerous international administrative tribunal decisions that form a substantive body of legal rules applicable therein: a law of international civil service. Judges in those tribunals, who look for an appropriate source whenever they face a non-liquet situation, use the concept of international administrative law to overcome such difficulties. Judges should not hide themselves behind an ambiguous notion of international administrative law or general principles, but apply the law of international civil service with confidence.
As humanitarian organizations become more active in the digital domain and reliant upon new technologies, they evolve from simple bystanders to full-fledged stakeholders in cyberspace, able to build on the advantages of new technologies but also vulnerable to adverse cyber operations that can impact their capacity to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict or other situations of violence. The recent hack of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's Restoring Family Links network tools, potentially exposing the personal data of half a million vulnerable individuals to unauthorized access by unknown hackers, is a stark reminder that this is not just a theoretical risk but a very real one.1
The 2020 cyber operation affecting SolarWinds, a major US information technology company, demonstrated the chaos that a hack can cause by targeting digital supply chain components. What does the hack mean for the humanitarian cyberspace, and what can we learn from it? In this article, Massimo Marelli, Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross's Data Protection Office, draws out some possible lessons and considers the way forward by drawing on the notion of “digital sovereignty”.
This article examines the extent to which international law protects international organizations (IOs) from hacking operations committed by States. First, it analyzes whether hacking operations undertaken by member States and host States breach the privileges and immunities granted to IOs by their constitutive treaties, headquarters agreements, and conventions on privileges and immunities concerning the inviolability of their premises, property, assets, archives, documents and correspondence. The article also explores the question of whether hacking operations carried out by non-member States breach these provisions on the basis that they have passed into customary international law or because they attach to the international legal personality of IOs. Second, the article considers the question of whether hacking operations breach the principle of good faith. In this regard, it discusses the applicability of the principle of good faith to the relations between IOs, member States, host States and non-member States, and then considers how hacking operations impinge on a number of postulates emanating from good faith such as the pacta sunt servanda rule, the duty to respect the legal personality of IOs, the duties of loyalty, due regard and cooperation, and the duty not to abuse rights. Finally, the article examines the question of whether the principle of State sovereignty offers IOs indirect protection insofar as hacking can breach the sovereignty of the host State or the sovereignty of the State on whose cyber infrastructure the targeted data is resident.
Decolonization and the expansion of international organizations in the twentieth century are crucial developments in modern global history, yet scholars have seldom closely studied their impact on one another. While decolonization is often presented as the ‘success story’ of international organizations, these bodies have also been condemned as instruments of neocolonialism. This introduction and special issue moves beyond this binary and investigates the multifaceted roles that international organizations have played in decolonizing countries and how the dissolution of European empires has in turn affected the development of international organizations. International organizations were neither straightforward tools of empire or neocolonialism, nor natural instruments for ‘Third World’ liberation. Rather, the contributions collected here underline a history of decolonization that defies any teleological framing and emphasizes diverse trajectories of global interaction facilitated through international organizations. The introduction offers an overview of recent literature on the topic and discusses promising avenues for further research.
Though constitutional drafting is a national affair, it is not isolated from the international legal setting in which it is embedded. Sometimes, the process of drafting itself may be directly governed by international law (for example, a United Nations mandate). On other occasions, constitutional design may be influenced by incentives generated by international law (such as EU membership). Either way, the creation of a new constitution invariably requires reflection upon the status and role of international law in the normative hierarchy of a country. Using Sudan as a case study, this chapter explores the significant role played by international law in the drafting of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Interim National Constitution of 2005.
It is shown that the form of an institution, its legal character, and membership do not determine procedural density.
The finding that the procedural density regarding an activity is zero is very prevalent in the sample. The reasons for this usually lie in low state interest, which is demonstrated via case studies of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and the Proliferation Security Initiative.
During coding, there were certain procedural steps which occurred more frequently than others but no distinct patterns of combinations of procedural steps. This leads me to assume that procedure as a design element is valued for its variety and flexibility.
Whether an activity is hard or soft law or somewhere in between greatly determines state interest in procedural justice. This is further explored via a case study of the Human Development Index.
Like the legal character, the exact characteristics of an administrative activity affect procedural density. This is illustrated using the different branches of the International Telecommunications Union and their procedure.
Of the different kinds of procedural steps, review is by far the least prevalent because it strongly affects state interests and often juxtaposes them with individual rights and interests. This is illustrated with comparative case studies of the Interpol Commission for the Control of Files and the ICANN Independent Review Procedure.
Procedural justice in the shape of procedural steps is a more flexible design tool than an institution's different organs. All things being equal, it is therefore preferred. This is demonstrated by the decentralized compliance monitoring mechanism used by the International Electrotechnical Commission.
The main findings from the empirical research are summarized.
GAL is one of the most ambitious projects to capture the role of procedure in global governance. Other concepts are briefly introduced and compared. The idea of procedural justice as akin to GAL in scope but focusing on perceptions of fairness and legitimacy rather than normativity emerges.
The main strands of international relations theory regarding institutions are briefly introduced. The work focuses on rational choice, notably Rational Institutional Design theory.
To unite the concept of procedural justice with the perspective and methods of rational institutional design, the factor of state interest is studied. It is shown how state interest can operate even within nominally private institutions and which factors determine whether and how a state is interested in introducing procedural justice.
The codebook variables creating the matrix of sensitivity of state interest - quantitative and qualitative procedural density is introduced. The mode of sample collection is explained.
In recent years, the procedural rules of global governance institutions have come under scrutiny from scholars worldwide and have been conceptualized as akin to domestic administrative law. However, one question has so far not been addressed: who shapes this procedure and why? In the present work, Isabel Lischewski develops a simple matrix connecting procedure and state interest. When this matrix is applied to a sample of forty diverse institutions, fascinating patterns emerge, which are further explored through in-depth case studies. It is shown that states prefer to balance sovereignty preservation through procedure with the costs it entails. Thus, normative considerations are not the predominant basis on which this procedure is designed. The research provides original insights into the landscape of global governance procedure and cautions against a notion of “apolitical” administration law.