The Jessup 2012 Compromis has been released!
The new compromis raises the customary four issues. Declaration one concerns the ability of the ICJ to hear a dispute submitted to it by a government that has taken power only recently through a coup d’etat. This is a nice, technical, way of raising issues of international capacity and the recognition of governments (as opposed to the recognitions of states). Highly pertinent in light of the Arab Spring and especially with recent events in Libya.
Declaration two revives a common theme. It concerns the legality of, and international responsibility for, the use of force by an international organisation between the international organisation and its member states. This is a staple issue for the Jessup, and one that both judges and competitors seem to enjoy every year. Important recent developments this year in the law of attribution make it a good time to revisit the topic.
Declaration 3 is a strange one. It concerns a mix of the prohibition against forced labour, whether such abuses can be waived by treaty, whether they are subject to adjudication in a foreign states domestic forum and whether the resulting (monetary) judgment can be enforced despite the doctrine of sovereign immunity. This is the newest part of the problem. It raises interesting issues of human rights and the interaction between domestic jurisdiction and international law. This may well be the most challenging issue for teams to research and at first glance seems well of the beaten track. This promises to raise interesting issues.
Declaration 4 concerns the protection of heritage sites. The most interesting characteristic of this issue is the highly ironic scenario. On the facts, it is the government which considers the site to be sacred which destroys part of the site. It’s (eventually successful) goal is to bring an end to the use of force against it (the use of force which is the subject of Declaration two). This is also a novel issue, although one that has been gaining in visibility for the last few years, due to the importance and complexity of the protection of world heritage sites and the (relatively) developed international protective framework.
This years Compromis is written in a very different style. Ordinarily Jessup compromises (what is the plural of ‘compromis’?) tend to be written in a fiction style with a linear story that is centred usually on the history of the dispute or a particular individual. This time much more descriptive prose is used to narrate the problem. Not that this has made anything any shorter – the Compromis still racks up an impressive 48 paragraphs which is longer than last year, but considerably shorter than the 70+ paragraph Case Concerning the Windscale Islands.
Good luck to all who compete this year.