Главная > Дневник событий > Право > Past and future of parallel world legal orders*

Past and future of parallel world legal orders*


Notion of parallel world legal orders means that there are competing sets of international legal principles and rules guiding behavior of the subjects of international relations. They are applied in a different way in different frameworks.

Its sources could be found in Roman Empire law, which made drastic distinction between the set of rules established for the benefit of citizens and the set of law that had been governing relations between the Empire and its citizens and all other nations.

Such a distinction was reintroduced into international law by the 1815 Vienna Congress. Victorious powers kept for themselves the right to intervene into internal political developments of ordinary nations without impeding the basic international law notions of state sovereignty, equality, and etc.

This distinction was largely used by colonial nations, exempting their nationals, their trade and interests from applying to them prescriptions of internal legal orders of week states or colonies. General international law guided relationship between themselves and between them and efficiently independent nations.

During the cold war years we have witnessed emergence of three or even five parallel international law orders. One existed for capitalist states, another – for so called socialist states. Each set of principles and rules legalized interference in internal affairs of states belonging to this or that camp. The third for many decades have regulated relations between two camps (international law of peaceful coexistence) and general international relations on the basis of the United Nations Charter. The fourth and fifth consisted of “real politic” institutions and ideological concepts urging both camps to destroy each other and to do for achieving this purpose their outmost.

Unfortunately after the end of the cold war, parallel international law orders have not disappeared. Instead they took other dimensions. The opportunity to merge them into one and agree on common basic values was wasted. Nowadays the contemporary general international law continues to run day to day international relations. It is supported by the majority of nations, by fast developing economies, by BRICS countries. All of them insist on the rule of law in international relations.

At the same time another set of rules started to emerge. They deny the legally binding principles of noninterference and sovereign equality of nations. Its hard core is formed of the pretended right of mighty powers to intervene unilaterally and change existing political regimes in so called failing states or not so much failing states, but those which contravene their global interests, and bypass the UN Security Council.

It is obvious that instead of world order such a situation creates world disorder. The today community of nations will be able to stop wars and confrontations and to achieve prosperity if we manage to agree on a common set of international law rules and values and implement them in a long lasting coherent manner.

We need to:

- rethink or reinvent the international law principles of peaceful settlement of international conflicts and disputes and exclusion of the use of force from international relations,

- prohibit unilateral actions, contravening international obligations of cooperation, common decision making, noninterference and etc,

- seek for a new balance between such imperatives as territorial integrity and right of peoples to self-determination,

- reinstall common family values, values of decent social behavior, values of tolerance and social inclusion,

- create necessary conditions for promotion of minority rights without impeding basic democratic requirements of the rule of the majority,

- reintroduce basic moral values in international behavior, international relations, in judgments made by international and internal institutions and main players,

- provide contemporary international law with structures, procedures and institutions enabling all international actors to combat social and income inequalities, create social lifts, establish equality of opportunities in deeds rather than in words only,

- look for a new balance between free access to technical, technological, scientific results and exclusive intellectual property protection,

- transform general international law into the law of partnership, cooperation, inclusion, mutual assistance and solidarity, creating for this purposes adequate international structures and institutions,

- write down in international binding documents an imperative of promoting positive interdependence,

- include in contemporary international law as a key element a principle of sharing best practices in all spheres of human activities.

© Mark L. ENTIN, doctor of legal sciences, Head of Jean Monnet chair,
editor-in-chief of www.alleuropa.ru journal,
director of the European Studies Institute at MGIMO-University

* Presentation made at 4 th BRICS Academic Forum “Security, Stability and Growth”, New Delhi, March 4-7, 2012.

№3(64), 2012

№3(64), 2012