Posted: September 17th, 2017


1. Sixty States ratified the (fictional) Soft-Eared Seals Protection Convention in 2008. The Convention, which is now in force, reads in part:
“Article 1 – No state shall catch more than 100 Soft-Eared Seals in a year”. “Article 2 – No reservations are allowed to this Convention.”
Discuss the international legal consequences of all the following acts:
(a) State party Alpha was recently discovered to have been routinely catching hundreds of Soft-Eared Seals per year. When this fact was discovered Alpha argued that, due to the recession, if they had not done so, severe hardship would have been caused to its fishermen.
(b) State party Beta attached a declaration to its instrument of ratification to the effect that, “Interpretative declaration – Beta interprets Article 1 as being limited to the territorial sea of Beta.” Hence Beta has routinely caught over 1,000 Soft-Eared Seals per year on the high seas.
(c)State party Gamma additionally ratifies the (fictional) Convention on the Preservation of Marine Mammals 2010, which lists Soft-Eared Seals as a species subject to an absolute ban on catching. In 2014 Gamma was discovered to have caught 50 Soft-Eared Seals.
(d) In early 2010, State signatory Delta enacts domestic law allowing for the hunting and killing of Soft-Eared Seals within its waters to boost its much-needed tourism revenues.
Answer ONE of the following questions. Your answer to this question will count for 50% of your final mark.
2. Critically discuss the place of treaty law in the domestic law of the United Kingdom.
3. Critically evaluate the proposition within the following quotation and provide examples and cases as evidence for your points. “The acquisition of statehood by a new entity is governed little by law or principle. At the end of the day, it seems to be left to the whim of those that have already acquired it.”
4. Probably the most fundamental notion in international law is that of state sovereignty. Critically evaluate how state sovereignty is reflected in the law of BOTH:
(a) State immunity; and
(b) Diplomatic immunity.
5. In Nicaragua (The Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua Case, Nicaragua v United States of America, ICJ Reports, 1986) the ICJ adopted such a strict approach to the question of when the acts of paramilitary groups can be attributed to a State that the war crimes tribunal in Tadić (Prosecutor v Tadić, Case IT-94-1, 1999) felt it necessary to distinguish the Nicaragua decision on the basis that it set the threshold for attribution too high. Discuss.

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