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Journal of International Law an International Relations
 

Journal of International Law and International Relations 2006 — N 4

Summaries 


International Law

Theoretical Issues

Direct Application of Treaties in a Municipal Legal System — Alexey Barbuk

International Organizations

Some Aspects of the Commonwealth of Independent States Law Making — Igor Barkovsky

International Private Law

Multilateral Conventions on Avoiding Double Taxation as an Alternative to Bilateral Conventions — Alexey Lashuk

International Transport Law

The Transit Freedom Principle in International Law and the National Law of the Republic of Belarus — Marina Romanova

Documents and Materials

UNHCR Executive Committee Conclusion on Women and Girls at Risk (N 105 (LVII) — 2006) (only russian)

UNHCR Executive Committee Conclusion on Identification, Prevention and Reduction of Statelessness and Protection of Stateless Persons (N 106 (LVII) — 2006) (only russian)

International Relations

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces on Europe and prospects for strengthening European Security — Alexandr Sychev

Refugees in the World — Ilija Todorovic, Yury Morgun

Place and Role of Conceptual Documents in the Modern Foreign Policy of States — Vladimir Ulakhovich

The International Labour Organisation and Belarus: 50 Years of Interaction — Andrey Rusakovich

Exacerbation of Refugee Problem in the late 1980s—1990s — Andrey Selivanov

Northern Dimension of the European Union and Regional Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region — Andrey Volodkin

Belarusian-Italian Cooperation to Overcome Chernobyl Disaster Consequences — Oksana Mishurovskaya

The Diplomacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania During the War Between the Rzhech Pospolyta and Sweden in 1600—1629 — Olga Lazorkina

International Economic Relations

Evaluation and Adaptation of Import Substitution Policy of the Republic of Belarus to International Requirements — Vasily Uglov, Elena Davydenko

Modern Organisational and Economic Development Trends in Publishing and Polygraphic Industry — Kseniya Semak

Sources and Forms of Venture Capital Development — Sergey Myat


English Summaries

«Direct Application of Treaties in a Municipal Legal System» (Alexey Barbuk)

The article focuses on the concept of direct application of treaties. The author analyzes notions which are used in the sphere of application of treaties in municipal legal systems as well as examines the criteria of self-executiveness (direct applicability) of treaties. The article argues that the degree of treaty rules detailing is not decisive in determining whether specific treaty rules may be directly applicable in a municipal legal system or not. It is stated that a disposition of the same rule may be applied: a) as a behavioral model; b) as a criterion for establishing one’s responsibility. Thus, it is possible to use recognition of an infringement of a non-self-executing rule as a legal ground for adoption of the required implementing legislation. In comparison to transformation of treaty rules into municipal legislation, the direct application of treaties as a method of the implementation of international obligations encourages better international law penetration into the legal culture of the society.


«Some Aspects of the Commonwealth of Independent States Law Making» (Igor Barkovsky)

The article deals with some aspects on the legislating activities of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The author also analyzes such important theoretical and practical issues as legal regulation of the law making mechanism of the CIS, the legal status of the decisions of the CIS Heads of State Council and Heads of Government Council.

The author goes beyond the mere analysis of the normative documents; he offers some suggestions on improving the CIS law making. According to the author, the competence of some CIS bodies needs specifying, in particular, that of the Executive Committee, which plays an important role in providing the law making function of the organization. It would be expedient to give it the right to sign the agreements with the executive (working) bodies without getting an additional mandate from the Councils of the Heads of State, the Heads of Government or Ministers of Foreign Affairs.


«Multilateral Conventions on Avoiding Double Taxation as an Alternative to Bilateral Conventions» (Alexey Lashuk)

The article aims to review and illustrate various approaches to the idea of concluding multilateral tax conventions as well as the prospects for the multilateral conventions to be an alternative to avoid double taxation.

The globalizing world makes it logical for countries to try to regulate international issues on the multilateral, not bilateral level. Work is underway under the aegis of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to replace bilateral investment agreements by multilateral agreements on investments.

Double tax avoidance is still regulated by bilateral agreements in most cases. But developments can be foreseen, when some aspects of international tax regulations will assume the form of a multilateral convention. It is likely to happen at the regional level first, with the countries belonging to an economic bloc, like the European Union, for instance.


«The Transit Freedom Principle in International Law and the National Law of the Republic of Belarus» (Marina Romanova)

The article identifies the grounds for the principle of transit freedom existence in a branch of international transport and customs law. The author presents a systemic theoretical and practical analysis of the existing normative legal basis in international customs and transport law, Considers and characterizes the fundamental conventions and agreements in this field.

Priority is given to the universal fixation of the transit freedom principle. In particular, the provisions of the GATT are analyzed as well as those of a number of international legal acts, fixing the above-mentioned principle.

In addition the article describes the way the principle of transit freedom has developed at the regional level and within the CIS framework. The main provisions of most regional agreements have been analyzed — those that regulate moving goods in transit — from the point of view of their corresponding to this principle.

Considerable attention is paid by the author to the comprehensive study of the development of the legal regulation of transit in the Republic of Belarus. The basic stages, objectives and instruments are described. The degree of implementation of the transit freedom principle in national legislation of the Republic of Belarus is analyzed as well.


«The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces on Europe and prospects for strengthening European Security» (Alexandr Sychev)

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Force in Europe (CFE) has played a key role in maintaining the European security architecture for more than 10 years. In accordance with the provisions of the CFE Treaty almost 60 thousands pieces of conventional weapons were destroyed, which had halved the overall amount of armaments in Europe.

In the second half of the 1990s it became evident that the CFE Treaty based on the balance of forces between two groups of states — the Warsaw Treaty Organization and NATO, — did not reflect the drastic changes in the geopolitical situation in Europe. This stipulated the adaptation of the Treaty, which took place in 1997—1999 and resulted in the signing of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty in Istanbul in November 1999.

The Agreement on Adaptation implied the transition from the limitations based on the group balance of forces between two politico-military unions to the individual system of the limitations for each State Party. This allows effectively to prevent a possibility of a large-scale military deployment.

However, the adapted CFE Treaty could not enter into force for the last seven years. The majority of the participating States argue that they will ratify the Agreement on the Adaptation of the CFE Treaty only after the Russian Federation fulfils the so-called «Istanbul commitments» on withdrawal of its military forces from the territories of Georgia and Moldova. They also continue to consider the current CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security.

At the Third CFE Review Conference in May—June 2006 the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus clearly demonstrated the invalidity of the current CFE Treaty of 1990 and its inconsistence with the modern politico-military situation on the European continent to their partners and urged them to undertake every effort to ratify the adapted CFE Treaty at the earliest convenience.

Further delay in the entry into force of the adapted CFE Treaty threatens the very existence of the Treaty and may result in the collapse of the balanced system of European security. It makes us think about alternative methods of strengthening national as well as European security.


«Refugees in the World» (Ilija Todorovic, Yury Morgun)

The article cites the data on refugees and other categories of forced migrants in the world as of January 1, 2006. It shows that positive progress has been achieved in the settlement of the refugee problem due to the intensive efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the member states. The number of refugees dropped over 2005 by 12 per cent (from 9.5 to 8.4 mln people). The number of people receiving aid from the UNHCR has grown considerably: thus the number of internally displaced persons of concern to the UNHCR grew by 1.6 mln (reaching 6.6) and the number of stateless people — almost by 1 mln (to 2.4 mln). Belarus progressed in its work on improving the legislation on refugees, consolidating its national system of asylum and the potential of the government bodies and NGOs working with refugees.


«Place and Role of Conceptual Documents in the Modern Foreign Policy of States» (Vladimir Ulakhovich)

The process of developing and implementing the state foreign policy presupposes its political and legal frameworking at the national level. In some states, foreign policy concepts are adopted as governments’ normative-legal documents; in others, they are laid down in legislative acts; in a number of cases, they provide strategies (doctrines) of national security.

The foreign policy concept can be defined as a system of views, a mode of understanding, general plan, leading idea, constructive principle of the international activities of states.

In terms of internal political development of a country, the concept is a form of national self-determination, adoption of national interests and attainment of national consensus. The concept has also a political and legal significance — it adds political orientation to the law; and a managerial aspect — it formulates the system and technology of foreign policy decisions making.

In terms of international cooperation, the concept has a great representative meaning – it represents the state, declares acceptance by it of the values of the modern world, estimates the system of international relations, and identifies the scope of realization of national interests.


«The International Labour Organisation and Belarus: 50 Years of Interaction» (Andrey Rusakovich)

The article explores the interaction between Belarus and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). What is important about this study that it demonstrates integrated and systemic approach to the issue. The author reviewed the history and the main directions of the interaction between Belarus and the ILO from the moment of Belarus joining this organization to the present time, summed up some results of cooperation, defined the importance of the membership in the ILO for the social and economic development of the country. The author studies the part the BSSR had played in the ILO work, outlines the role of the ratified ILO conventions in the development of labour law in the BSSR. The article notes that the declaration of independence of Belarus has created new conditions for cooperation with the ILO: transition to market relations, rise of entrepreneurship, denationalization, changes in conditions of work for employees, emergence of unemployment. As a result, new approaches to labour relations regulation had to be formed. The ILO convention and recommendations contributed to the reform of labour laws of the Republic of Belarus. The author has analyzed the main directions of the interaction between Belarus and the ILO over the last 15 years, such as: technology cooperation projects, Belarusian representatives’ participation in the ILO statute bodies, ratification of conventions by the Republic of Belarus and the problems of their implementation. The article points out that further extension of cooperation of Belarus and ILO, the use of its experience and the settlement of the accumulated issues with this organization would meet the national interests of the Republic of Belarus.


«Exacerbation of Refugee Problem in the late 1980s—1990s» (Andrey Selivanov)

The article is dedicated to the analysis of the reasons which led to appearance of refugees on the territory of the Republic of Belarus in the 1990s. The circumstances which pushed the inhabitants of Afghanistan, the African continent, the former republics of the Soviet Union to leave their places of residence and become refugees in Belarus are also examined. Attention is also paid to the fact that many of them adapted themselves in Belarusian society successfully.

On the whole the migration processes affected the Republic of Belarus considerably. Thus in 1992—1998 32 000 people from CIS only applied to Belarusian migration services for refugee status. By the end of 1999 about 3000 citizens of foreign countries who submitted the application stayed on the territory of Belarus.

The author makes a conclusion that by the end of the XX century the disintegration processes on the territory of former Soviet Union and its allies led to escalation of international and interconfessional conflicts which resulted in increasing the pressure on European countries, including Belarus. Besides, there is a number of reasons, such as regional and local conflicts, which cause the appearance of persons seeking for asylum in our country nowadays.

Thus, in spite of a relatively small number of refugees, registered by Belarusian authorities, it is essential to be prepared to react to such events promptly and adequately.


«Northern Dimension of the European Union and Regional Cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region» (Andrey Volodkin)

The article considers the contribution of the Northern Dimension program to the engagement of the European Union in the Baltic Sea region affairs. The author analyzes the evolution of the EU Baltic policy during the 1990-s and the reasons which motivated Finland to introduce the Northern Dimension initiative. The attitudes of other countries of the region to this initiative are also described. But particular attention is paid to the contradictory approach of the European Union to the implementation of the Northern Dimension which undermined the initial potential of this program. As a result, most of the declared goals of the Northern Dimension have not been achieved yet, causing great frustration of the parties involved.

The article reviews the main projects implemented in the Baltic Sea region within the framework of the Northern Dimension. But analyzing the working documents of this program the author underlines that most of them lack information on the concrete plans and results of the Northern Dimension which makes it very difficult to assess its overall efficiency. Now after the last EU enlargement in 2004 it makes no sense to continue this initiative within the framework of the common foreign policy of the Union. Therefore the author considers possible ways of its transformation as the Second Northern Dimension Action Plan expires in the end of this year.


«Belarusian-Italian Cooperation to Overcome Chernobyl Disaster Consequences» (Oksana Mishurovskaya)

The article presents the analysis of the 15-year Belarusian-Italian cooperation to cope the consequences of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl Nuclear Station. The directions of this cooperation are highlighted; in particular, the creation of the normative legal base, delegation exchange, academic contacts and collaboration of the NGO. Special attention is given to the leading role of Italy in organizing rehabilitation trips to the country for children from the Republic of Belarus. The author gives detailed consideration of the problems which existed in the humanitarian sphere during the period under study.


«The Diplomacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania During the War Between the Rzhech Pospolyta and Sweden in 1600—1629» (Olga Lazorkina)

The author considers diplomacy of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) during the war of Rzhech Pospolyta (RP) with Sweden in 1600—1629, investigates the reasons of the conflict, reveals the features of interaction of the GDL with Sweden and reflects the specifics of the organization of diplomatic service of RP.

This theme has not received complex consideration in the domestic historiography. Diplomatic contacts of the GDL as component of RP were studied in fragments, within the context of the general problems of the history of the two states. Detailed study of diplomatic contacts of the GDL will allow to give a more complete definition of the status of the Duchy in the federative union with Poland and its role in European history.

For a long time the historical science considered that after signing the Lublin unia of 1569 the diplomatic service of the Duchy had ceased to exist. Diplomatic contacts of the GDL in the second half of XVI — first half XVII century were identified by the foreign policy and diplomacy of the Polish Crown.

The events of the beginning of the XVII century, revealed most deeply the inconsistent character of the mutual relations between the GDL and the Polish Kingdom. The dynastic interests of the Wasa house aggravated the contradictions between the basic political camps inside the country. The situation was seriously complicated by the religious opposition between Catholics, Protestants and the Orthodox. The political elite of the GDL was interested in the preservation of influence in Infland as the economic well-being of the Duchy substantially depended on the Baltic trade.

As a result of the research the author comes to a conclusion, that the relations between the GDL and Sweden showed the difference of interests between the Crown and the Duchy. The GDL acted as an equal member of a federative state and acted sufficiently independently in diplomatic relations with the neighbour states which were in the sphere of its geopolitic interests.


«Evaluation and Adaptation of Import Substitution Policy of the Republic of Belarus to International Requirements» (Vasily Uglov, Elena Davydenko)

The article is devoted to the study of the main subject of negotiations of any country at entering the WTO, and namely focuses on defining the highest possible level of protecting the domestic market from international competition with tariff and non-tariff regulation as well as with establishing of import substitution production.

According to the WTO rules the key role in the process of protecting the domestic market of the country is played by reasonable and balanced custom tariff; meanwhile non-tariff restrictions of access to the domestic market should be transformed to the tariff ones and abolished in future.  Belarus has already cut down the level of custom tariffs significantly (to 22 %) and realized their unification (currently 7 tariff levels from 0 to 30 % exist). The author’s analysis showed that the current average Belarusian tariff is less discriminating due to lower ad valorem duty rate, despite still being higher than in the US and the EU. During the last three years the share of non-tariff restrictions in foreign trade of goods decreased by 7 times though the objective of creating a transparent and simple system of non-tariff regulation still remains urgent.

Financial stimulation of import substitution projects requires radical improvement too. The most topical measures in this sphere are bringing the criteria for participation of projects in the governmental programme of import substitution to the WTO requirements, thus providing higher neutrality and objectivity, as well as the efficiency of the proposed projects with regard to full costs. The country will face significant limitations in the support of import substitution production after the implementation of the WTO norms and requirements. Therefore, reorientation of production to the financial support of scientific research, science-based production and active attraction of private domestic and foreign investment is needed.


«Modern Organisational and Economic Development Trends in Publishing and Polygraphic Industry» (Kseniya Semak)

The author states that the publishing sphere is currently one of the most developed markets. At the same time it presents today more than just a simple conglomeration of national markets tied with foreign trade connections in the form of import and export of published produce, copyright, licences for translated editions etc. Globalisation and internationalisation of this branch of economy manifested themselves in direct expansion of transnational concerns.

The beginning of the 1990s became one of the most complicated periods for world publishing and polygraphic industry. The following problems arose: the growth of competition from other branches of the economy; objective changes in market relations, and namely, market internationalization and globalisation; radical progress in technical and technological development; macroeconomic instability; incomplete transformational processes in society; inconsistency between the legislative base and the existing situation in world publishing and polygraphic industry etc.

In this connection the following general trends in overcoming the crisis in the branch appeared:

1) convergency — merging of publishing industry with entertainment industry. However, such approach is not always efficient;

2) strategy of vertical integration — amalgamation of separate technological stages of production into a single company;

3) strategy of horizontal integration — amalgamation of companies by merging or redemption leading to the establishment of a new large-scale company;

4) internationalisation in world publishing and polygraphic industry — the process of emergence and expansion of relations between economic subjects in publishing and polygraphic industries from different countries resulting from international specialisation and development of international division of labour with interweaving of capital, publishing and polygraphic services and goods, thus combining publication of product in one country with its consumption in another.

The author makes a conclusion that the most efficient solution of problems emerging in this sphere are: internationalisation, horizontal and vertical integration.


«Sources and Forms of Venture Capital Development» (Sergey Myat)

The article gives a short definition of institutional venture capital as an economic category. This definition should be considered as a form of financial capital aimed primarily at intensification of scientific and technological as well as innovative activities including also intellectual administrative know-how along with financial instruments. The author explores the sources of venture capital, makes their differentiation into categories. He also outlines the main functions realized by venture capital in the financial sphere, reveals the main mechanisms influencing foundation and development of venture capital industry. The author also identifies the structural elements of a country’s economy that affect these processes; reviews the state programmes of the USA and Netherlands aimed at creation and development of this sphere; lists the basic instruments of the support of innovation-based production; gives a brief descriprion of the results of influence of venture capital on the state and development of the US economy, as well as considers the activities of the Dutch agency for technology and export SENTER.


This publication was prepared in the framework of EU TACIS — UNHCR project “Strengthening the National Asylum System in the Republic of Belarus”
 
 
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