Cyprus Mail

Counteracting extraterritorial sanctions – by which means?

Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali

ELIE HATEM, Attorney at the Paris Bar and with the International Criminal Court, argues that the International society is in a chaotic situation due to ongoing violations of International Public Law whose effectiveness and existence are called into question. This is a very brief summary of his scholarly article which you can read in full by clicking here.

We are witnessing a balance of power where the strongest imposes its law on the weakest, taking advantage of its political, economic and financial privileges.

This context is illustrated by the unilateral sanctions which are countermeasures, thus acts of war, taken in an unlawful way. These measures affect not only the countries that are sanctioned, but also the third States, victims of the side effects (extraterritorial effects) of these sanctions.

These measures undermine the principles and peremptory standards of International Public Law (jus cogens) : the principle of sovereignty of States, the principle of non-interference, the one of freedom of trade including the free navigation, the favored-nation clause, the non–discrimination in trade sector according to GATT standards.

This situation needs to be remedied by taking adequate measures, including reprisals, even if these last are illicit by nature. Indeed, they become licit if they are taken against illicit countermeasures. In other words, we fight unlawful acts by unlawful acts in this struggle that demonstrates the drift of the international institutions that must be reformed as proposed by former Secretary General of the United Nations, Late Boutros Boutros-Ghali, in order to save them and to remove them from political arbitrariness.

Elie Hatem’s article


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