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Document Details :
Title: Perspectives for International Law in the Twenty-First Century
Subtitle: Chaos or a World Legal Order
Author(s): WOUTERS, Jan
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Date: April 2000
In our increasingly interactive and interdependent world, we are confronted almost daily with issues in international law: think, for instance, of the recent Pinochet and Öcalan cases, the crises in Iraq, Kosovo and East Timor, or the banana and hormone disputes in the WTO. Add to this continual reports about the activities of international organizations, from the UN to the European Union, and it becomes clear that international law is the order of the day. Whoever follows these international developments, as I do, and whoever is committed to the construction of a solid legal order for the international community, finds himself constantly torn between hope and despair. Signs of hope in recent years include the approval of a statute for the International Criminal Court in Rome on July 17, 1998; the Pinochet decisions of the House of Lords of November 1998 and March 1999; and the coming into force of the Ottawa agreement on anti-personnel mines in March of 1999. Yet who could witness the course of events during the NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, and the long period of UN inaction against the violence that broke out in East Timor following the referendum, without feeling some sense of desperation?