This chapter discusses what makes the constituent treaty of the United Nations (UN) and similar inter-governmental organisations different from many other treaties so that it is appropriate to use the term constitution in relation to such treaties, although the legitimacy and strength of such constitutions varies. In a minimal sense, the UN Charter constitutes, or establishes, an organisation with organs possessing legal powers and members with rights and duties, justifying the use of the term 'constitution'. The chapter also discusses the constitutional features of the UN Charter, including the debates surrounding the so-called 'supremacy clause' of the UN Charter contained in Article 103. It presents two case studies featuring judicial decisions on the primacy of UN obligations by the International Court of Justice in the Lockerbie cases of 1992 and 1998, and the European Court of Human Rights in the Al-Jedda case of 2011, to illustrate the controversies surrounding constitutionalism.
The term 'lobbying' derives from the particular location in which the activity supposedly takes place, the parliamentary or legislative lobby. In practice, most lobbying takes place elsewhere: in government offices, in restaurants or online. This book presents the arguments in favour of and against lobbying. It deals with the various types of lobbyists prevalent in Britain: insider groups, outsider groups, business lobbyists, and commercial lobbyists. The renewable energy industry and the alcohol industry are examples of associations engaging in business lobbying. The book examines how lobbying is carried out, how lobbyists frame or define a policy issue and challenge existing framings, the initative taken by governments to consult stakeholders, the role of social media in revolutionising lobbying, and the forming of advocacy coalitions. It considers three case studies of lobbying in action: the campaign to reduce sugar consumption, issues relating to fixed odds betting terminals, and the future of the Green Belt. The case for and against the regulation of lobbying is discussed next. The book looks at the UK system of regulating lobbying and the regulation prevalent in the European Union. It also examines the issue of whether the democratic process gets unduly distorted by lobbying. Electoral politics can still trump pressure politics.
This chapter considers three case studies of lobbying in action: the campaign to reduce sugar consumption; issues relating to fixed odds betting terminals; and the future of the Green Belt. Two of these cases relate to potential harm: in the case of sugar, to the population in general; in the case of fixed odds betting terminals, to a subset of those who gamble. The issue of the Green Belt relates to deeply held values in one section of the population. A number of apparently independent reports on Green Belt development appeared, which turned out to be funded by, or closely linked to, the same group of housing industry consultants. Economists and the pro-development lobby helped to get the Green Belt on to the political agenda, changing its hitherto sacrosanct status.
This chapter explores the key relationship between the inter-governmental organisation (IGO) and its member states. It examines the basic relationship between the United Nations (UN) and states in terms of membership through admissions, withdrawal, expulsion, suspension, and representation. The chapter provides case studies, including the pursuit of Palestinian membership and the consequences of the break-up of states for membership, showing how the rules on membership are at the same time rudimentary and difficult to adhere to. It shows that membership of an IGO no longer guarantees full sovereign equality of member states, and that with qualified majority voting and weighted voting, sovereign equality becomes more and more qualified. The chapter also explores how the obligation to pay, when combined with a scale of assessments that requires powerful states to pay more, produces considerable tensions within the UN and other IGOs, sometimes in the form of a refusal to pay.
Forcible sanctions, involving the use of force organised or authorised by the UN, regional or defence organisations, raise issues of compatibility with the rules governing the use of force in international relations, which are found in the UN Charter and customary law. This chapter considers the role of inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) in implementing and upholding those rules, necessitating an analysis of Article 2 and Chapters VII and VIII of the UN Charter, and the constituent treaties of security organisations. It discusses different military responses undertaken by IGOs, ranging from observation and peacekeeping, to peace enforcement and war-fighting, in terms of legality and practice. The chapter also considers whether there is an emerging duty upon the UN (and possibly other IGOs) to take action in response to the commission of core international crimes, embodied in the idea of a Responsibility to Protect and practiced in Libya in 2011.
This chapter analyses whether referendums have gone from being a shield against executive dominance to being a weapon in the hands of the executive. It presents an analysis of all the votes held in different countries since 1973 to shed light on whether referendums and plebiscites have become more associated with populism and semi-authoritarian tendencies. The chapter examines the reasons for the increase in the number of referendums in Free states and democracies like the United Kingdom. Citizen-initiated referendums come in two forms: initiatives (which allow voters to propose legislation) and citizen-initiated referendums (which allow voters to hold a vote on an already enacted law or bills before they are promulgated). The chapter also looks at plebiscites in Not Free states where they are held not merely to confer legitimacy upon an autocratic regime but also to signal the total control of the authoritarian government.
Attempts to regulate lobbying have focused on securing transparency so that we know who is lobbying whom about what. This chapter presents the case for and against regulation of lobbying. The case for the regulation of lobbyists is simple enough: it promotes transparency and accountability, and hence strengthens democracy. However, it has also been suggested that increased transparency is not necessarily desirable and that 'in order to formulate "good policy", confidential negotiations are sometimes necessary'. The chapter looks at the UK system of regulating lobbying and the regulation prevalent in the European Union. It also examines the issue of whether the democratic process gets unduly distorted by lobbying. Politicians and civil servants may have half an eye on the future career opportunities offered by lobbying organisations as they enter a lightly regulated revolving door between government and the private sector.
This chapter considers the development of secondary rules of international law to cover the wrongful acts and omissions of inter-governmental organisations. It analyses the Articles on Responsibility of International Organisations (ARIO) developed by the International Law Commission. The chapter focuses on the weaknesses of the ARIO in distinguishing the responsibility of the UN from that of member states, something that has caused difficulties in judicial interpretation of the ARIO in the case of UN-mandated operation. It examines the issues of attribution in firstly the Behrami case before the European Court of Human Rights and secondly various cases before Dutch courts following the failure of the Dutch battalion of the United Nations Protection Force to protect civilians in Srebrenica in 1995.
This chapter examines non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and similar inter-governmental organisations in terms of their legality (constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness. It focuses on the Article 41 of the UN Charter, a provision that empowers the Security Council to adopt sanctions against states, although it has further developed this power to promulgate targeted sanctions against individuals and other non-state actors (NSAs). The chapter analyses the impact of general sanctions against states, such as Southern Rhodesia, Iraq, Serbia and Libya, especially their impact on the human rights of the population. It discusses the applicability of human rights norms to the UN. The Security Council has favoured targeted sanctions against individual leaders, regime elites and NSAs, such as terrorists held responsible for threats to peace but these have raised human rights concerns, and have led to litigation before various national, regional and international courts and bodies.
Cause groups exist before World War II itself, but they were not the mass membership organisations that we know today, making use of a combination of evidence-based lobbying, the mass media and various forms of protest. This chapter deals with the various types of lobbyists prevalent in Britain: insider groups, outsider groups, business lobbyists and commercial lobbyists. Insider groups try to influence government policy whereas outsider groups usually focus on preventing a particular activity from going ahead. Further, insider groups can be 'core' or 'peripheral' while outsider groups are divided into those that are outside 'by necessity' and those that are outside 'by choice'. The chapter discusses the renewable energy industry and the alcohol industry as examples of associations engaging in business lobbying. Leading commercial lobbyists talk about understanding the regulatory environment, getting a client's message across and building relationships with relevant decision-makers.