Den (dewhitton) wrote,


On a Certain Mailing List I read, the world's only Goth barrister was asked

"> Do UN Resolutions have the force of law?"

And he gave this opinion at no cost::

Yes, but only in "international law", which bears the same relationship with law as "sanitation engineer" has with engineering.

Any resolution passed by the UN must be acted upon by the constituent governments, who are at liberty ( under "international law") to do:
(a)nothing; or

Add translation problems, weasel words, local policies of interpretation and degrees of national pride in self-determination, and you end up with a full range of responses. The world may act with one voice, but it will go
in hundreds of directions.

In Australia, the Federal government is not bound by any treaties that it didn't:
(a) sign;
(b) ratify;
(c) pass complementary legislation;
(d) like;
(e) re-interpret; or
(f) weasel out of altogther.

So, if the UN decides something (70 yes, 60 no, 10 abstain, 3 object, one voting for something else, one foaming at mouth) and the authorised UN agency (Health, Security, Bureaucracy etc) makes it a real live policy, and everyone agrees on the wording of the treaty, and everyone votes for the treaty, and enough countries sign it, and Australia likes it heaps, and it's not completely useless because of weasel words, then the State governments can ignore it (among other options, rinse and repeat).

If it makes it this far, then the resolution can be acted upon by countries who want to play Cop. The usual Robbers can wear blue hats and pretend not to be looting.

At the moment, every country in the world is in breach of one UN resolution or another - if not by commission then by inaction. At this stage the game ceases to be "law" and becomes "America's agenda items at the Security Council".

This has been more trouble than you are worth. Fuck off.


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