Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books, book chapters, journal articles and working papers. The ANU College of Law also publishes a Research Paper Series on SSRN.

Hague Yearbook of International Law

The Invalidity of the Philippines’ Withdrawal from the Rome Statute

Editor(s): Gemmo Fernandez

This article submits that the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC is invalid under municipal law and ineffective under international law. Notwithstanding the silence of the Philippine Constitution, the principles embodied under it do not allow for a unilateral executive withdrawal from the Statute. Nothing under the president’s plenary executive or foreign affairs power allows him to perform such an act. Moreover, the doctrines of transformation, separation of powers, and the principle of checks and balances require a concurrent legislative act in denouncing a treaty. The withdrawal being invalid under municipal law, it arguably produces no effect under international law. While the regime governing the law of treaties is silent as to the effect of domestic law concerning the competence of a state organ to withdraw, there exists ample authority to suggest that fundamental violations under the latter invalidate the competence to denounce treaties under the former.

https://brill.com/display/book/9789004518216/BP000004.xml?mc_cid=a9eeb20580&mc_eid=0f7c5e0311

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Hague Yearbook of International Law

The Invalidity of the Philippines’ Withdrawal from the Rome Statute

Editor(s): Gemmo Fernandez

This article submits that the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC is invalid under municipal law and ineffective under international law. Notwithstanding the silence of the Philippine Constitution, the principles embodied under it do not allow for a unilateral executive withdrawal from the Statute. Nothing under the president’s plenary executive or foreign affairs power allows him to perform such an act. Moreover, the doctrines of transformation, separation of powers, and the principle of checks and balances require a concurrent legislative act in denouncing a treaty. The withdrawal being invalid under municipal law, it arguably produces no effect under international law. While the regime governing the law of treaties is silent as to the effect of domestic law concerning the competence of a state organ to withdraw, there exists ample authority to suggest that fundamental violations under the latter invalidate the competence to denounce treaties under the former.

https://brill.com/display/book/9789004518216/BP000004.xml?mc_cid=a9eeb20580&mc_eid=0f7c5e0311

Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Santa clara law review

Regulation of Corporate Activity in the Space Sector

Author(s): Akshaya Kamalnath, Hitoishi Sarkar

This Article argues that commercialisation of space coupled with technological innovation calls for a regulatory approach beyond (and complementary to) the treaty regime offered by international law. The rapid technological advances in the financial sector and corresponding regulatory innovations make financial technology (fintech) regulation a likely candidate to draw lessons from for the nascent space sector. The Article draws from the fintech sector and proposes that some lessons about initial regulation via regulatory sandboxes and sandbox bridges are useful in the space sector. At the domestic level, the Article proposes regulatory sandboxes to enable innovation while ensuring the necessary safeguards; and at the multi-national level, it proposes cooperation between regulators in various spacefaring nations along the lines of sandbox bridges used in the fintech sector. Since different states have varying levels of space sector activity, this Article makes broad recommendations with pointers that identify aspects that are more suitable to certain types of jurisdictions than others.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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Does international law prohibit the facilitation of money laundering?

Author(s): Anton Moiseienko

There is a broad political consensus that states must not facilitate money laundering, especially as relates to the proceeds of foreign grand corruption. Over the past 30 years, an elaborate regulatory regime has been put in place in most countries to ensure that proceeds of crime are interdicted and confiscated. It rests on the technically non-binding recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, an influential intergovernmental grouping. Despite this progress and the adoption of international treaties against corruption and organized crime, international law contains no express treaty rule that enjoins states from facilitating money laundering. Furthermore, there are formidable legal and practical obstacles to invoking international legal responsibility of states that do choose to benefit from enabling money laundering. This article explores the disconnect between international law as it stands and the widely accepted political imperative that states must not facilitate money laundering. It argues in favour of recognizing a self-standing customary rule to that effect, and outlines the content and likely impact of such a rule.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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Secret Ministries and the Constitution: an implied requirement of publication?

Author(s): Fiona Roughley, Megan Caristo

Whilst he was Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP was appointed by the Governor-General to administer five additional departments of State unbeknownst to the other institutions of Australia’s constitutional government and the public. This article considers whether the Constitution contains an implied requirement that any appointment of a person to administer a department of State be made public within a reasonable period , and whether that requirement limits the executive power in s 64 to appoint a person to administer a department of State. Such an implication arguably arises from the text and structure of the Constitution, and in particular, the form of representative and responsible government prescribed by ss 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 23, 24, 28, 30, 49, 50, 62, 64, 75(v), 83 and 128. If the implication be accepted, and if it gives rise to a limitation on the power to appoint in s 64, absence of publication of an appointment within a reasonable period results in invalidity of the appointment. The implication may also have other consequences for the exercise of other executive (and legislative) powers.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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The Law of the Sea and PRC Gray-Zone Operations in the South China Sea

Author(s): Robert McLaughlin

A growing number of incidents—particularly since 2009—highlight the South China Sea (SCS) as the preeminent venue for the People's Republic of China (PRC) maritime gray zone operations. “Gray zone operations” are, in essence, operations that are designed to exploit or create legal (and other) uncertainties for a military or strategic advantage. A prominent example is the way that China has used the so-called nine(ten)-dash line without fully explaining the legal basis for it. There are other examples, as well. China has deliberately cultivated uncertainty about the sovereign status of maritime militia vessels—and thus about whether and how the conduct of these vessels might be directly attributable to the PRC. It has harassed U.S. survey vessels seventy-five nautical miles (nm) south of Hainan Island in an effort to disrupt military survey operations that it claims are impermissible and has sunk a Philippine fishing vessel at Reed Bank in an effort to enforce Chinese claims to exclusive fisheries rights in this area. It has also asserted claims and enforcement rights in zones that clearly belong to other states—including actions against Indonesian fishing vessels in seas in the vicinity of the Natuna Islands, which are part of the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (and Continental Shelf). And it has conducted operations on the basis of inapplicable maritime zone rights, such as by asserting a territorial sea and thus the right to control innocent passage around low-tide elevations with artificial installations built upon them—such as with Mischief Reef. The list goes on.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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In Defense of Comparisons: Russia and the Transmutations of Imperialism in International Law

Author(s): Ntina Tzouvala, Anastasiya Kotova

While Western imperialism played a crucial role in the creation of modern international law, it is ever more important to analyze the engagements of non-Western imperialist powers with the field so as to comprehend the changing global patterns of legalized violence and expansionism. In this Essay, we analyze Russia's international legal arguments in support of its use of force against Ukraine through the lens of inter-imperial rivalry. In so doing, we call for strict scrutiny of the deployments of jus ad bellum equally by all imperial powers.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Trading with a Friend's Enemy

Trading with a Friend's Enemy

Author(s): Anton Moiseienko

Economic sanctions have been the West's response of choice to Russia's full-scale aggression in Ukraine. Predictably, speculation abounds as to what these sanctions portend for future responses to acts of interstate aggression. The principles underpinning the “trading with the enemy” laws of a seemingly bygone era have resurfaced but applied not to the sanctioning powers’ own enemies but in solidarity with another state, at least insofar as the breaches of erga omnes obligations through armed aggression are concerned. The contemporary expansion in sanctions practice may have far-reaching repercussions.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Trends in forest and sparse woody cover inside ERF HIR project areas relative to those in surrounding areas

Trends in forest and sparse woody cover inside ERF HIR project areas relative to those in surrounding areas

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Pablo R Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka, Megan Evans

The Emissions Reduction Fund’s (ERF) Human-induced Regeneration (HIR) method provides landholders with Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for regenerating native forests by changing land management practices. When it was originally made, the method was intended to incentivise the regeneration of native forests by allowing juvenile trees and shrubs to regrow in areas that were previously cleared. Offset projects involving the regeneration of native forests that would not have regenerated in the absence of the project, such as in previously cleared areas, are both legitimate and desirable. However, the vast majority of HIR projects are not in areas that have previously been cleared. Almost all of the current HIR projects are located in semi-arid and arid areas (less than 350 mm average annual rainfall) that have never been comprehensively cleared (Figure 1), meaning most proponents are trying to regenerate native forests in remnant native vegetation solely by reducing grazing pressure from livestock and feral animals

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

GLR

Legal personality as licence

Author(s): Michelle Worthington

This article extends discussion of the recently introduced licence theory of legal personality to the two remaining categories of legal personality available under Australian law, namely, Natural Legal Personality and Bodies Politic. The licence theory conceives of legal personality as designated legal functions, grouped together for nominated purposes. More particularly, it conceives of legal personality as a licensing system, whereby legal personality is granted by the State subject to various nominated conditions. These conditions reflect the overarching purpose behind the grant of legal personality, and may be organised into three general categories: Capability Conditions; Public Interest Conditions; and Use Conditions. According to the licence theory, in forming an understanding of legal personality it is necessary to consider the following design factors: i) the means by which a particular legal person is activated; ii) the purpose underwriting the grant of legal personality by the State; iii) legal capacities and obligations; and iv) the various different conditions operative in relation to the grant of a particular class of legal personality. In this article, these four factors are applied and considered in relation to both Natural Legal Personality and the Commonwealth of Australia (being the pre-eminent manifestation of the Body Politic).

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

GLR

Legal personality as licence

Author(s): Michelle Worthington

This article extends discussion of the recently introduced licence theory of legal personality to the two remaining categories of legal personality available under Australian law, namely, Natural Legal Personality and Bodies Politic. The licence theory conceives of legal personality as designated legal functions, grouped together for nominated purposes. More particularly, it conceives of legal personality as a licensing system, whereby legal personality is granted by the State subject to various nominated conditions. These conditions reflect the overarching purpose behind the grant of legal personality, and may be organised into three general categories: Capability Conditions; Public Interest Conditions; and Use Conditions. According to the licence theory, in forming an understanding of legal personality it is necessary to consider the following design factors: i) the means by which a particular legal person is activated; ii) the purpose underwriting the grant of legal personality by the State; iii) legal capacities and obligations; and iv) the various different conditions operative in relation to the grant of a particular class of legal personality. In this article, these four factors are applied and considered in relation to both Natural Legal Personality and the Commonwealth of Australia (being the pre-eminent manifestation of the Body Politic).

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Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Legal Theory

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The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in Investor-State Disputes: History, Evolution and Future

Author(s): Esme Shirlow, Kiran Nasir Gore

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties in Investor-State Disputes: History, Evolution and Future is the first consolidated analysis of how the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) has informed the interpretation, application and development of international investment law and the resolution of investor-State disputes. Over the past several decades, the VCLT – the ‘treaty on treaties’ – has achieved a rich and nuanced track record of influence in international investment law, including in the context of investment treaty arbitration. This book demonstrates how approaches to key issues of treaty law in investment treaty arbitration diverge or converge from the VCLT and approaches of other international courts, as well as the lessons that investment treaty arbitration could derive from – or even offer for – the interpretation and application of the VCLT rules in other settings.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

Integrity Problems with the ERF’s 2022 Plantation Forestry Method

Integrity Problems with the ERF’s 2022 Plantation Forestry Method

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Since 2014, the centrepiece of Australia’s climate policy has been the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), a $4.5 billion fund that incentivises emissions reduction activities across the economy and forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs)—a type of financial product—that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required to, or that voluntarily choose to, offset their emissions.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

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Invested in Whiteness: Zimbabwe, thevon PezoldArbitration, and the Question of Race in International Law

Author(s): Ntina Tzouvala

Using the 2015 arbitral award in von Pezold v. Zimbabwe as its starting point, thispiece reflects on the relationship between racial capitalism and international law. Stressingthe particularities both of this specific case and of the field of investment arbitration, I nevertheless argue that the tribunal’s finding that Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programhad been racially discriminatory against white commercial farmers is symptomatic of broader argumentative structures in international law. In particular, I suggest that it wasthree argumentative moves that led to this perverse outcome: a temporal fencing of racism,a spatial containment of racism and, finally, a strict conceptualization of racism as prejudicepertaining to “skin color.” The combination of these three moves allowed the arbitratorsto artificially separate the question of race/ism from questions of property and wealthdistribution, capitalist accumulation, and exploitation. Far from being aberrational, thesethree moves are commonplace in (neo)liberal domestic and international legal systems and contribute to the invisibilization of racial capitalism as a structure of dispossession,exploitation, and abandonment.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

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Social Movements, Diversity, and Corporate Short-Termism

Author(s): Akshaya Kamalnath

Social movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, powered by social media, have given rise to heightened corporate activism on social issues. It has also drawn attention to the importance of addressing diversity issues for the workforce rather than simply at the board or even management level. This article argues that although the focus on such social issues is desirable and indeed necessary, myopic responses to social media pressures can be counter-productive. Instead, it proposes that corporate decisions and actions should be geared towards addressing issues that help the companies’ stakeholders in the long term. Further, it argues that long-term policies that improve corporate culture will ultimately bear results because employees cannot be won over by mere virtue-signalling or short-term policies. Besides, both negative and positive information about firm culture will ultimately make its way out, especially through employee output either on social media or on anonymous forums like Glassdoor surveys, thus affecting corporate reputation. Apart from proposing measures that companies might adopt to address issues of harassment and discrimination, this article also advocates the use of flexible work options and argues that Covid-19 lockdowns might have already shown that “working from home” is indeed possible.

The article contributes to the nascent strand of literature on the impact of social movements that use social media on corporate governance by flagging the issue of corporate short-termism on social justice issues as a concern. It also contributes to the literature on diversity in corporations by identifying solutions that will bring sustained improvement to diversity in the entire workforce (as against just the board of directors, which has been the subject of recent laws and shareholder activism ).

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy

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Rethinking commonality in refugee status determination in Europe: Legal geographies of asylum appeals

Author(s): Jessica Hambly, Et al.

The Common European Asylum System aims to establish common standards for refugee status determination among EU Member States. Combining insights from legal and political geography we bring the depth and scale of this challenge into sharp relief. Drawing on interviews and a detailed ethnography of asylum adjudication involving over 850 in-person asylum appeal observations, we point towards practical differences in the spatio-temporality, materiality and logistics of asylum appeal processes as they are operationalised in seven European countries. Our analysis achieves three things. Firstly, we identify a key zone of differences at the level of concrete, everyday implementation that has largely escaped academic attention, which allows us to critically assess the notion of harmonisation of asylum policies in new ways. Secondly, drawing on legal- and political-geographical concepts, we offer a way to conceptualise this zone by paying attention to the spatio-temporality, materiality and logistics it involves. Thirdly, we offer critical legal logistics as a new direction for scholarship in legal geography and beyond that promises to prise open the previously obscured mechanics of contemporary legal systems.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Human Rights Law and Policy

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The ILC Articles on State Responsibility in Investment Treaty Arbitration

Author(s): Esme Shirlow, Kabir Duggal

The International Law Commission adopted the Articles on the Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts in 2001, when there had been fewer than 100 recorded investment claims. Since then, there has been a significant rise in the number of investment treaty arbitration cases. This article considers how the ILC Articles have been used by investment treaty tribunals to analyse issues of State responsibility in investment treaty claims. The article summarises key trends concerning the use of the ILC Articles in investment treaty arbitration. It addresses the application of the ILC Articles in investment disputes, the role given to the ILC Articles in determining questions of attribution, the influence of the ILC Articles for the analysis of temporal issues, and the role of the ILC Articles in determining matters of reparation and contributory fault. The article is accompanied by a lengthy case appendix which summarises references by investment treaty tribunals to the ILC Articles from 2010–2020.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: International Law

ERF paper

Integrity and the ERF’s Human-Induced Regeneration Method: The Additionality Problem Explained

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Pablo R. Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Earlier this year, we went public with details of serious integrity issues in Australia’s carbon market, which forms part of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). One of our main concerns is with a carbon offset method known as Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest (HIR). Our analysis suggests most of the credits issued under this method are not backed by real and additional carbon storage.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

ERF paper title

Integrity and the ERF’s Human-Induced Regeneration Method: The Measurement Problem Explained

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Pablo R. Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a $4.5 billion program that forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive carbon credits that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required or voluntarily choose to offset their emissions.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

Fixing the integrity problems with Australia's carbon market

Fixing the Integrity Problems with Australia’s Carbon Market

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Since 2014, the centrepiece of Australia’s climate policy has been the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), a $4.5 billion fund that incentivises emissions reduction activities across the economy and forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive credits that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required to, or that voluntarily choose to, offset their emissions.

Earlier this year, we went public with details of serious integrity issues with the ERF, labelling it ‘environmental and taxpayer fraud’. While a number of long-held concerns with the scheme exist, we have initially focused on the ERF’s most popular carbon credit methods: human-induced regeneration (HIR); avoided deforestation; and landfill gas. Our analysis suggests up to 80% of the carbon credits issued to projects under these methods lack integrity. That is, they do not represent real (emissions have not been reduced) or additional (the reduction would have happened anyway) abatement.

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Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

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