Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books and working papers. Other papers and publications can be found on SSRN and the ANU Researchers database.

The Multilateral Human Rights System: Systemic Challenge or Healthy Contestation?

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

This essay explores some of the parameters and merits of a putative argument that the announcement of June 19, 2018 that the United States would withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council might most properly be understood as but one manifestation of a wider political backlash within the US (and indeed other Western democracies) against the multilateral human rights system epitomized by the Council. There are two prongs to this argument. First, populist-nationalist political sentiment at home simultaneously fuels and is fanned by strident high-profile diplomatic critiques (or even rejections) of global bodies such as the Council. Second, the nature and force of this backlash constitutes a systemic threat to the future of the post-1945 rules-based international order, especially since it comes mostly from the superpower whose values-based rhetoric and leadership has perhaps done most to advance the global human rights agenda in the modern era.

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Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Technology, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Populism, Backlash and the Ongoing Use of the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System: State Responses to the Appellate Body Crisis

Author(s): Imogen Saunders

Since 2017, World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) Member States have been unable to reach a consensus on Appellate Body (‘AB’) appointments and reappointments. The United States is spearheading a populist backlash against procedural and substantive aspects of the dispute settlement system of the WTO. As a consequence of this, the AB is now facing an unprecedented crisis. The jewel in the crown of the WTO dispute settlement system will be missing: yet countries are still bringing complaints. This paper considers US actions through the framing of populism and backlash, and assesses responses from other countries.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law, Legal History and Ethnology

The Populist Challenge and the Future of the United Nations Security Council

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

This article examines the potential impact of the populist challenge to International Law on the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council is often criticized as ineffective, unprincipled, and an anachronistic mechanism that reflects a power balance from the past, rather than the realities of today. The article argues that the rise of populism is likely to further erode the Security Council’s legitimacy and efficacy. At the same time, however, it emphasizes the need for greater nuance in the way that both the phenomenon of populism, as well as the relationship between national and international concerns, are understood and framed. Taking these complexities into account, the Article explores three scenarios that could result from an escalating crisis of Security Council legitimacy. The first involves reform and renewal. The second comprises retreat and realignment. The third encompasses reimagining the international peace and security architecture and creating something new.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Who Has the Power? A Critical Perspective on Space Governance and New Entrants to the Space Sector

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Space law and space politics are determined by the same big players as terrestrial geopolitics, and therefore in asking how to govern space, we have to take the current realities of international relations and international law into account. How are new entrants interacting with the international space law regime inherited from the Cold War, and what kinds of new governance structures might we need to deal with the increasing number and kinds of participants emerging in the space sector? I take a critical perspective, drawing on feminist legal theory and Third World Perspectives on International Law (TWAIL) to pose further questions: who is exercising power over the development of new legal and governance norms in space and who is excluded from this? I argue that, because we are all so dependent on space for our contemporary existence, 21st century space governance needs to take into account more than the interests of the biggest players.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, Military & Security Law

Why Outer Space Matters for National and International Security

Author(s): Cassandra Steer

Despite the fact that outer space may only be used for peaceful purposes under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, most technologically advanced States today have a high military dependence on space. In other words, space is “militarized,” but not yet “weaponized.” At the same time, a space arms race has been underway for some time, and appears to be accelerating in recent years. In 2019, India joined what it proudly dubbed the “elite club” of States with the capability to launch direct ascent anti-satellite weapons, replicating earlier tests by China, Russia and the U.S., all of whom have also demonstrated more covert forms of anti-satellite or “counterspace” technologies. The establishment of the U.S. Space Force at the end of 2019 and the response of allies and adversaries alike is emblematic of the escalatory cycle that appears to be in place. Today nearly every country is dependent in some way on space-enabled capabilities, many of which are supplied not by States but by commercial entities. This report outlines the historical and legal context, and argues for increased cooperation and transparency to improve the stability and security of outer space for national and international security.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Law and Technology, Military & Security Law

Elected Member Influence in the United Nations Security Council

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

This article reassesses how members of the UN Security Council exercise influence over the Council’s decision-making process, with particular focus on the ten elected members (the ‘E10’). A common understanding of Security Council dynamics accords predominance to the five permanent members (the ‘P5’), suggesting bleak prospects for the Council as a forum that promotes the voices and representation of the 188 non-permanent members. The assumption is that real power rests with the P5, while the E10 are there to make up the numbers. By articulating a richer account of Council dynamics, this article contests the conventional wisdom that P5 centrality crowds out space for the E10 to influence Council decision-making. It also shows that opportunities for influencing Council decision-making go beyond stints of elected membership. It argues that the assumed centrality of the P5 on the Council thus needs to be qualified and re-evaluated.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

New Directions in Article 1D Jurisprudence: Greater Barriers for Palestinian Refugees Seeking the Benefits of the Refugee Convention

Author(s): Kate Ogg

This chapter investigates new issues that have arisen in relation to article 1D of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention), resulting from decisions by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal (NZIPT). These judgments break away from earlier article 1D jurisprudence but there has been little analysis of the alternative approaches adopted. In theory, these precedents provide greater opportunities for Palestinian refugees to obtain the benefits of the Refugee Convention but in fact threaten the principle of continuity of international protection for Palestinian refugees. This is because the judgments adopt a skewed and narrow understanding of the meaning of ‘protection or assistance’ in article 1D and impose an evidentiary paradox by necessitating that Palestinian refugees prove that their decision to flee was involuntary. Further, the CJEU’s approach favours those who have heroic or intrepid narratives and this can serve to disadvantage Palestinian women and girls. Consequently, these decisions create additional and often-insurmountable barriers to Palestinian refugees seeking the benefits of the Refugee Convention not supported by article 1D’s ordinary meaning or the Refugee Convention’s object and purpose.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Destination Australia: Journeys of the Moribund

Author(s): Kate Ogg

Australia sends many of those who come in search of refuge to regional processing centers in Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Most of these asylum seekers and refugees want to continue their journey to Australia but the Australian Government has vowed that none will be given protection in Australian territory. However, there have been recent developments in the Federal Parliament and Federal Court that have paved the way for certain asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru and Manus Island to come to Australia. In this chapter, I investigate these legislative and judicial developments and argue that they indicate that the place of human rights and international law is becoming increasingly peripheral in Australia’s refugee law and policy and instead transfers to Australia have become medicalized. Australia’s parliamentarians and courts have moved to protect asylum seekers’ physical and mental health but not the rights flowing to them as people, children, and refugees. Asylum seekers and refugees must be moribund before they can use legal processes to transfer to Australia and they come as sick people in need of medical care—not as bearers of legal rights. These developments hamper larger efforts to end or fundamentally reform Australia’s offshore processing regime.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Gender, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

The Antarctic Treaty at Sixty Years: Past, Present and Future

Author(s): Donald Rothwell

The Antarctic Treaty, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019, remains as a unique example of an international law instrument that seeks to provide a governance mechanism for a single continent. Both Japan and Australia were original parties to the Antarctic Treaty and have been strong supporters of the Treaty throughout its lifetime. However, in 2019 questions are starting to be raised as to whether a treaty negotiated in 1959 is capable of continuing to provide an appropriate governance framework for Antarctica. These questions relate to the role of the seven Antarctic claimant States, the role of historically prominent non-claimant States such as the United States and the Russian Federation, and the interests of powerful ‘new’ States that are beginning to express a strong interest in polar affairs such as China. This paper assesses whether the Antarctic Treaty is sufficiently robust to address the challenges that confront Antarctic governance in 2019 and into the future. Particular attention will be given to whether it remains possible for Treaty parties to request an Article XII ‘Review Conference’, and also the 1991 Madrid Protocol Article 25 review mechanisms.

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Centre: CIPL, CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Military & Security Law

The Multiple Forms of Transparency in International Investment Arbitration: Their Implications, and Their Limits

Author(s): Esme Shirlow

This Chapter traces the development of procedural transparency in international investment arbitration to tease apart different types of transparency, whilst also considering their objectives and consequences. The analysis indicates that the meaning, promise and limits of transparency will differ for different stakeholders and different reform objectives. The Chapter draws out the differences between the concepts of transparency as ‘availability’, ‘access’, and ‘participation’ to identify three distinct types of ‘transparency’. It connects these concepts to the reforms to procedural transparency that have occurred for investment arbitration to date. This supports an analysis of whether the types of transparency reforms that have been pursued thus far are adapted to achieving their stated purposes. What emerges is an understanding of transparency that is closely connected to the development of, and hopes for, international investment arbitration. Transparency has emerged as a key means of improving international investment arbitration, including to make it more accountable and more legitimate. An agenda that seeks to identify and enact effective reforms to reach this promise must take into account the types of transparency best adapted to achieve these goals. In considering transparency in international investment arbitration, then, it is vital that States, arbitral institutions, and other stakeholders confront the assumptions and motivations underpinning suggested reforms in order to best adapt those reforms to achieve their stated objectives. The contours of the discussion in this Chapter hold importance for reform agendas in other fields of international arbitration. It highlights the importance of clarifying what is being proposed, what is being excluded from that discussion, and how these understandings influence the concrete outcomes of reform efforts as well as the appraisal of their success by disparate stakeholders.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Elected Member Influence in the United Nations Security Council

Author(s): Jeremy Farrall

This article reassesses how members of the UN Security Council exercise influence over the Council’s decision-making process, with particular focus on the ten elected members (the ‘E10’). A common understanding of Security Council dynamics accords predominance to the five permanent members (the ‘P5’), suggesting bleak prospects for the Council as a forum that promotes the voices and representation of the 188 non-permanent members. The assumption is that real power rests with the P5, while the E10 are there to make up the numbers. By articulating a richer account of Council dynamics, this article contests the conventional wisdom that P5 centrality crowds out space for the E10 to influence Council decision-making. It also shows that opportunities for influencing Council decision-making go beyond stints of elected membership. It argues that the assumed centrality of the P5 on the Council thus needs to be qualified and re-evaluated.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Social Justice, Law, Governance and Development, Military & Security Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Martyrdom, Antinomianism, and the Prioritising of Christians - Towards a Political Theology of Refugee Resettlement

Author(s): Matthew Zagor

This article considers the approaches taken in the United States (US) and Australia to prioritising the resettlement of Christians from Syria and Iraq. Focusing first upon respective models and the immediate political factors that lead to their adoption, it analyses in depth the specific role played by the evangelical constituency in the US, and their theologically-infused concern for the “persecuted church” in “enslaved” lands. Recognising this movement enjoys less influence in Australia, the article considers the ways in which Australia’s resettlement policies and political narratives have nonetheless increasingly participated in tropes familiar to classical antinomian political theology, not least that resettlement is tied to a redemptive generosity of the State that works to denigrate and undermine the legal obligations demanded by those who arrive irregularly by boat. The article also critiques the use of “vulnerability” as a touchstone principle for the fair allocation of scarce resettlement places, and its propensity to be used for cherry-picking purposes. Finally, as part of the argument that resettlement is susceptible to being used as a vehicle for those motivated by more explicit theological concerns, the article explores the leveraging for political, redemptive, and eschatological purposes of images and narratives of the “martyred” middle-eastern Christian.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL, CLAH, LRSJ

Research theme: Constitutional Law and Theory, Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Religion, Law and Social Justice, Legal Theory, Migration and Movement of Peoples

Rights in the Australian Federation

Author(s): James Stellios

The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched Bill of Rights. Yet, Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.Aroney, Nicholas and Stellios, James, Rights in the Australian Federation (January 17, 2018). European Journal of Law Reform (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3103493

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, International Law

Defining 'Supply Chain' for Reporting Under a Modern Slavery Act for Australia

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

Australia proposed a Modern Slavery Act based on the UK's 2015 model, requiring larger firms to report annually on steps taken to address the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. This working paper has two main arguments. First, the approach to defining (or not) ‘supply chain’ is not a mere technical drafting issue, but instead can be seen as going to the overall purpose of this regulation and as a metaphor for more general design philosophies or approaches in this sphere. Second, an Australian statute should refrain from any attempt at a statutory definition of ‘supply chains’ or any definition in ancillary regulations; however, authorities should offer reporting entities far more extensive policy guidance than the UK model has done. Aside from the generic drafting difficulty of finding a stable, commercially sensible definition, the paper explains at least three reasons why the statutory scheme should not seek to define ‘supply chains.’

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Technology, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Artificial Islands and Territory in International Law

Author(s): Imogen Saunders

Artificially created islands are a contemporary reality, created and used for military and non-military purposes. Analysis of such islands has largely been limited to their status under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regime. Their position under general international law, however, remains unclear. In particular, the question of whether artificial islands can constitute sovereign territory remains unanswered. This article analyses the concept of territory in international law in the context of artificial islands, arguing that both the doctrine of territory and the strictures of UNCLOS do not prevent artificial islands as constituting territory, capable of sovereign appropriation: albeit territory not generating a territorial sea. Indeed, understanding artificial islands as potentially constituting territory allows for a more comprehensive positioning of such islands in regards to other general international law doctrines including the unlawful acquisition of territory.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law, Legal History and Ethnology

Rights in the Australian Federation

Author(s): James Stellios

The Australian Constitution is unique among constitutional instruments. It was primarily designed to federate self-governing British colonies within the British constitutional tradition and to establish institutions of federal government. As such, the constitutional instrument does not contain an entrenched Bill of Rights. Yet, Australia has been a stable federal democracy since its establishment in 1901 and, by international standards, it is consistently assessed as maintaining high levels of personal freedom, political rights, civil liberties and the rule of law. This article considers the place of rights in the Australian federation against Australian constitutional history and its constitutional context.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law and Theory, International Law

Defining 'Supply Chain' for Reporting Under a Modern Slavery Act for Australia

Author(s): Jolyon Ford

Australia proposed a Modern Slavery Act based on the UK's 2015 model, requiring larger firms to report annually on steps taken to address the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. This working paper has two main arguments. First, the approach to defining (or not) ‘supply chain’ is not a mere technical drafting issue, but instead can be seen as going to the overall purpose of this regulation and as a metaphor for more general design philosophies or approaches in this sphere. Second, an Australian statute should refrain from any attempt at a statutory definition of ‘supply chains’ or any definition in ancillary regulations; however, authorities should offer reporting entities far more extensive policy guidance than the UK model has done. Aside from the generic drafting difficulty of finding a stable, commercially sensible definition, the paper explains at least three reasons why the statutory scheme should not seek to define ‘supply chains.’

Read on SSRN

Centre: CCL, CIPL, LGDI

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy, International Law, Law and Technology, Law, Governance and Development, Private Law, Regulatory Law and Policy

Artificial Islands and Territory in International Law

Author(s): Imogen Saunders

Artificially created islands are a contemporary reality, created and used for military and non-military purposes. Analysis of such islands has largely been limited to their status under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) regime. Their position under general international law, however, remains unclear. In particular, the question of whether artificial islands can constitute sovereign territory remains unanswered. This article analyses the concept of territory in international law in the context of artificial islands, arguing that both the doctrine of territory and the strictures of UNCLOS do not prevent artificial islands as constituting territory, capable of sovereign appropriation: albeit territory not generating a territorial sea. Indeed, understanding artificial islands as potentially constituting territory allows for a more comprehensive positioning of such islands in regards to other general international law doctrines including the unlawful acquisition of territory.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law, Legal History and Ethnology

Blockade? A Legal Assessment of the Maritime Interdiction of Yemen’s Ports

Author(s): Phillip Drew

In January 2015, the government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was ousted from power by Houthi rebels based in the northern highlands of Yemen. Initially forced to flee the country, Hadi soon returned, establishing a new government in the southern city of Aden. His return marked the commencement of the latest phase of Yemen’s perpetual civil war.

In what has often been referred to as the ‘Saudi-led blockade’, a coalition naval force, made up primarily of vessels from Gulf Cooperation Council states, has been enforcing a closure of Yemen’s waters and most of its ports. Yemen requires food imports to feed its population, and fuel imports to generate the electricity that it needs to keep its water plants operating. As a result of the naval interdiction operations, the civilian population of Yemen is in crisis. Approximately 20 million people require humanitarian assistance, and the country continues to struggle under the largest cholera epidemic in history.

This paper examines the legal bases for the current interdiction operations, both from the perspective of the law of naval warfare and the law of the sea. Finally it assesses the role that Security Council resolutions have played in the continuation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the role that the Security Council can play in supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Legal Education, Military & Security Law

An Introduction to Maritime Crime in West Africa

Author(s): Phillip Drew

This paper examines the issue of maritime crime in the context of West Africa. Acknowledging that maritime crime is a growing threat to commercial shipping in the region, and to the economic health of West African countries, Dr. Drew assess the various factors that have thus far permitted maritime criminals in the region to operate with relative impunity. Recognising that a number of countries and international organisations have engaged in capacity building with the states of the GoG, Drew notes that lasting solutions to maritime crime require a broad approach that provides resources not only for the region’s military and law enforcement challenges, but also the underlying social problems that affect much of the continent.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CMSL

Research theme: International Law, Legal Education, Military & Security Law

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