EJ | 18.12.2004 01:05
International Law and Obligations Briefing
Did You Know?
Order 39 on ‘Foreign Investment’ passed by the Coalition Provisional Authority last September in Iraq is illegal. Using it to do business in Iraq is unlawful. You are aiding and abetting pillage.
How are you breaking the law?
The CPA was acting unlawfully by issuing Order 39 in Sept 2003.
I. United Nations Security Resolution 1483(2003)- adopted by the Security Council on 22nd May 2003- stresses the right of the Iraqi people to freely determine their own political future and control their own natural resources and notes a letter from the Permanent Representatives of the US and UK to the President of the Security Council recognizing their responsibilities as occupying powers under international law. This resolution expressly calls on all those concerned to comply fully with their obligations under international law in particular the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907
II. Iraqi Interim Constitution- (1990)-stated that national resources and basic means of production are owned by the People . Public ownership and properties of the Public Sector are inviolable. The State and all People are responsible for safeguarding, securing, and protecting it. Any sabotage to it or aggression against it, is considered as sabotage and aggression against the entity of the Society. mobile ownership is prohibited for non-Iraqis, except otherwise mentioned by a law.
III. Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of war 1949-expressly prohibits pillage . It also prohibits, murder, torture and any other measure of brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents. The people of Iraq cannot be deprived from benefits under the Convention by actions of the occupying power including any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power.
IV. Hague Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land 1907- expressly forbids pillage and states that the occupying state shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructory of public buildings, real estate, forests and agricultural estates . It must administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct which states that benefit can be gained from property invested in another provided its substance is not altered. This also includes structural changes to a public resource.
V. United Nations Charter- Article 1 para 2 -states that its aim is to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
VI. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (3 Jan1976)-part 1 Art 1 states that all peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they should freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
VII. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights( 23 March1976) Art 1 Part 1
(1) All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
(2) All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
(3) The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.