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Realizing UtopiaThe Future of International Law$
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The Late Antonio Cassese

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691661.001.0001

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How to Depart from the Existing Dire Condition of Development

How to Depart from the Existing Dire Condition of Development

(p.392) 31 How to Depart from the Existing Dire Condition of Development
Realizing Utopia

Emmanuelle Jouannet

Oxford University Press

Classical International Development Law (IDL) has not kept its promises despite continuing attempts to implement it. Major legal principles such as the right of peoples to self-determination, sovereignty over natural resources, and the right to nationalize against just compensation have helped to found and consolidate the sovereignty of newly independent states and let them properly consider their development. However, the set of legal norms that were subsequently adopted, which are legally binding and have been provided with some effectiveness, have proved extremely disappointing in their application. The new IDL of the post-Cold War years, which currently applies concurrently with conventional law on the matter seems no more effective. To change the existing dire condition, three options are open: sticking to the neo-liberal pro-market paradigm — an economically efficient but socially unfair solution; jettisoning any model of development — a blind alley; and changing the rules of the global economic system, and creating a new and fair New International Economic Order. This third option aims at changing the rules of the global economic system, recasting the Bretton Woods financial institutions, changing the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and revising the World Trade Organization in a more equitable direction so that it finally refocuses relations between the various North(s) and South(s).

Keywords:   International Development Law, self-determination, sovereignty, global economic system, Bretton Woods, GATT, World Trade Organization

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