‘From Seoul with love': the continuing relevance of the 1986 Seoul ILA declaration on progressive development of public international law relating to a new international economic order

French, Duncan (2008) ‘From Seoul with love': the continuing relevance of the 1986 Seoul ILA declaration on progressive development of public international law relating to a new international economic order. Netherlands International Law Review, 55 (1). pp. 3-32. ISSN 0165-070X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0165070X0800003X

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to reconsider, in the light of global developments and other challenges, attempts over the past four decades to agree principles and rules of international law relating to the establishment and operation of a New International Economic Order (NIEO). For its critics, the NIEO was a one-sided attempt, based on unsound legal and economic principles, to undermine the
integrity of the global economic system, a system that had played a vital role in permitting the world to recover following the tragedy of the Second World War. For its proponents, it was, on the other hand, a life-and-death attempt to reorder a system that was perpetually and unfairly biased against the poor majority; ‘life-and-death’ because the poverty that results from lack of development was not (nor continues to be) an abstract issue.
In particular, in seeking to narrow the fi eld of enquiry, this article will review the attempt by the non-governmental International Law Association (ILA)– acting through its international committee on the topic – to forge a clearer North-South consensus on this matter through the adoption of its 1986 Seoul Declaration on Progressive Development of Principles of Public International
Law relating to a New International Economic Order. In consciously trying to overcome some of the more overt political divisions within the UN General Assembly, the ILA sought to find carefully crafted compromises on such topics
as permanent sovereignty over natural resources, specifi cally expropriation, the right to development, common heritage of mankind, as well as on broader issues
of equality, equity and economic solidarity. Now, over twenty years after Seoul, it is fitting to consider whether the 1986 Declaration, in trying to move the debate forward, ultimately proved little more than a symbolic, but largely futile, gesture. Was this legal desiratum just too idealistic and utopian, particularly in the light of changing global circumstances and political realities?

Item Type:Article
Keywords:new international economic order, ILA Seoul Declaration, economic rights and duties of States, right to development, North-South relations
Subjects:M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:5149
Deposited By: Duncan French
Deposited On:04 May 2012 13:24
Last Modified:18 Nov 2013 12:21

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