Language for special purposes is like a microscope in areas where technical registers develop. Likewise, only small fragments of reality are made the subject of discussion, and from a very peculiar viewpoint at that. Yet the vocabulary that is necessary for taking part in such a discussion is far greater than the lexicon of general language.
Florian Coulmas, Language and Economy 27677 (1992).
In its broadest sense, international economic law includes all national and international legal norms that affect transnational movements of goods, services, capital and labor. The field may include subjects like international business transactions, private international law, international trade law, immigration law, European Communities law, comparative law, transnational litigation, international arbitration procedure, and aspects of banking, competition, employment, environmental, intellectual property, securities, tax, and telecommunications laws that regulate transnational transactions.
Joel R. Paul, The New Movements in International Economic Law, 10 Am. U.J. Intl L. & Poly 607, 609 n.9 (1995). Similarly, the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law defines International Economic Law as all the international law and international agreements governing economic transactions that cross state boundaries or otherwise have implications for more than one state, such as those involving movement of goods, funds, persons, intangibles, technology, vessels or aircraft. Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law Part VIII, Introductory Note at 261 (1987). There is continued debate, however, over which components of international law make up this term. Joel P. Trachtman describes this debate by delineating arguments for a distinction between international business law and international economic law. Under this view, international business law would remain outside of the scope of public international law while international economic law would be included within it:
A related purported distinction between international business law and international economic law is the distinction between transactions and trade. Transactions, in this sense, are between private persons (or public persons treated more or less as private persons), while trade is a matter of public policy and mercantilism or protectionism. The distinction is one between levels of analysis. Analysis at the individual or firm level of economic organization is transactional, while analysis at the state or higher level is economic. Because the substantive body of law governing the individual is still predominantly domestic, this distinction implicates the domestic-international dichotomy.
Joel P. Trachtman, Introduction: The International Economic Law Revolution, 17 U. Pa. J. Intl Econ. L. 33, 38 (1996). These debates use the definition of economic law as a battleground for the debate over what economic activity should be included within the realms of public versus private international law. The disagreement reveals that in order to address all facets of economic activity, a definition of economic law similar to Joel Pauls and the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law is necessary since the definition Trachtman illustrates merely masks and reiterates the private/public distinction.
I note the emptiness of the category private international law. Private international law is not separate from public international law. As many realists and critical legal theorists long ago pointed out, private law is an oxymoron. Rather, the important underlying issue is that there are at least two kinds of persons subject to law: private persons and states. The two types of applicable law may be quite different.
Trachtman, supra note 8, at 34. Another exception should be noted. The Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Subcommission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (formerly the Subcommission for the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities) asserts that all international law is public international law. This body insists that any legal instrument, private or public, that involves more than one state is a matter of public concern and is therefore a matter of public international law. Telephone Interview with Tamara Kunanayakam, Human Rights Commission Secretariat, United Nations, (Aug. 1996) (on file with author). Ms. Kunanayakam is currently directing the Working Group on Forced and Involuntary Disappearances under the auspices of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
I began by reminding the audience that . . . Latin America . . . was well within the lowest category of income . . . per head in the world, productivity was low, and we showed every feature of underdevelopment. We needed to raise farm productivity and widen our domestic markets as a basis for industrialization, for which we required investment for development purposes, better technique, and more education. I saw all this as an argument for obtaining foreign assistance. . . . I did not see private investment alone as doing the job, given the need for social reforms . . . . I feared that, unfortunately, the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (I actually said that one almost forgets to add this word) would place too little emphasis on development and that its operations would be mostly to supplement private investors . . . instead of lending its own money, whereas we were by no means sure of being able to resort to private capital on reasonable terms; among other things, investors . . . will be after profits, or lower corporation taxes, but [would not be] interested in our organic development or industrialization as a whole.
Id. at 43.
In March, 1985, President Reagan and [Canadian] Prime Minister Mulroney asked their trade officials to explore ways to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the United States and Canada. Under Congressionally granted fast track authority, negotiations began in 1986. The United States and Canada reached an agreement on the framework of a free trade area in 1987. And on January 1, 1989, the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement came into effect. 27 I.L.M. 293 (1988) . . . . The favorable reception . . . moved the member states to open negotiations with Mexico with the aim of bringing about a North American Free Trade Agreement. These negotiations led to a signing of an agreement with Mexico at the end of 1992.
Henkin et al., supra note 10, at 1547.
In fact, however, trying to define the competitiveness of a nation is much more problematic than defining that of a corporation. The bottom line for a corporation is literally the bottom line . . . . Countries, on the other hand, do not go out of business. They may be happy or unhappy with their economic performance, but they have no well-defined bottom line. As a result, the concept of national competitiveness is elusive.
Economic sanctions are a tool used to punish offending governments; these sanctions have a direct impact on TNCs doing or seeking to do business in these countries. The U.S. Government has sought to extend its influence even further in the cases of Cuba, Iran, and Libya, by adopting legislation that would penalize non-U.S. businesses that have certain types of investments in these rogue states.
Frey, supra note 49, at 16869 (citations omitted).
1.Reebok will not operate under martial law conditions or allow any military presence on its premises.
2.Reebok encourages free association and assembly among its employees.
3.Reebok will seek to ensure that opportunities for advancement are based on initiative, leadership and contributions to the business, not political beliefs. Further, no one is to be dismissed from working at its factories for political views or non-violent involvement.
4.Reebok will seek to prevent compulsory political indoctrination programs from taking place on its premises.
5.Reebok reaffirms that it deplores the use of force against human rights.
Frey, supra note 49, at 180 n.140 (quoting Diane Orentlicher & Timothy Gelatt, Public Law, Private Actors: The Impact of Human Rights on Business Investors in China, 14 Nw. J. Intl L. & Bus. 66, 108 (1993)) (citing Reebok Code of Conduct).
[t]he bank could justify considering the human rights implications of proposed projects by referring to [its purpose enumerated in its Articles of Agreement]. Apparently some consensus on the relevance of human rights considerations to World Bank lending decisions has been reached among the Group of Seven countries (US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada) who control a decisive bloc of power within the Bank.
Id. at 240.
Improvement of monitoring and social policies and social indicators in the context of IMF-supported programs is being pursued as central to the achievement of sustainable high-quality growth. Improving collaboration with the World Bank, U.N. agencies, and others, with the objective that each institution focus on areas of comparative advantage, is the best way to achievewithout duplication of worka better follow-up on the implementation of social policies in programs.
Id. at 2728 (emphasis added).
[T]he May 2000 PRSP of Burkina Faso centers on human security: economic security (access to education, vocational training, and paid employment), health security (access to low-cost preventive and curative medical care), food security (access to basic foodstuffs and safe water), environmental security (preservation of the environment), and individual and political security (the rule of law, responsibility, participation, efficiency, and transparency). The Burkinabč strategy does not promise that human security will be fully achieved during the life of the program, but it places a high priority on human rights in its development and structural adjustment efforts.
Nicaraguas September 2001 PRSP proposes measures to demarcate lands belonging to indigenous communities, assist the poor to meet housing needs, protect children in high-risk conditions, implement programs for the elderly, prevent domestic violence, strengthen the Office for Human Rights, and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. Rwandas November 2000 PRSP includes a framework for good governance that incorporates a human rights program, as well as capacity building for the countrys Human Rights Commission.
Agreement still remains elusive on precisely how existing rules should be changed and what form necessary new rules should take. But at Doha the WTO achieved something that many skeptics had suggested was beyond the organizations grasp: the launch of a new trade round. Even the sternest critics of globalization today accept that the alternative to multilateral rules is reliance on the law of the jungle. With the Doha Development Agenda, we are now on course to negotiate the necessary changes and new rules.
Id. at 2.
Although there is no consensus among WTO Members in favour of involving NGOs directly in the organizations work, the existing guidelines on external relations were designed by Members to give the Secretariat an appropriate degree of flexibility to allow responsible NGOs a voice in the dialogue. Within these guidelines, an increasing number of symposia have been held, involving a wide range of civil society actors, including parliamentarians, chambers of commerce, trade unions and many groups with particular focus on such issues as development and the environment. We have also greatly improved the dissemination of information to the general public through our website, which in the first quarter of 2002 recorded more than half a million visitors per month. Visitors downloaded monthly the equivalent of over 100 million pages of text.
Because my English was better than Cosio-Villegass, though far from entirely correct (English, by the way, was the only official working language and no simultaneous interpretation was available), I had drafted [a statement on the reorientation of the IMF and World Bank goals to include development rather than only reconstruction] myself and read it out loud.
Urquidi, supra note 18, at 42.