The Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lampur, flying at 33,000 feet, was shot down in the Donetsk Oblast in Eastern Ukraine on 17th July 2014. All passengers and crew on board were killed instantly as the aircraft broke in-flight and its remnants subsequently crashed on ground. The civilian aircraft was allegedly shot down using surface to air missiles (SAM) by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, however the separatists and Russia claims to the contrary. Following this human tragedy of shooting down MH17, there was much international hue and cry over Russian responsibility for the act due to its alliance with the separatist forces in Donetsk Oblast. However, state responsibility under international law is not so simple as it seems. I would firstly, examine hereinafter whether Russia could be held responsible for the shooting down of MH17 by the separatist forces and thenceforth evaluate the public air law response to this tragedy. The reason for such an approach is the lex generalis nature of public international law and public air law being lex specialis.Read More »
Frankly, it was inevitable. Once the celebrations were done, the knives would be out. So, when the celebration and congratulations over the acceptance of Climate Change Draft at Paris ended, one could hear some voices of despair and distraught terming the deal a failure. Dubbed as the Paris Agreement, the new deal had the countries agree to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and also make efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. It is touted as the last big heave-ho by the mankind to save the planet from absolute disaster.
In September, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced an initiative to create Special Economic Zones that is yet to be approved by the Mexican Congress Senate. The proposed initiative will set forth the legal framework with the intention to mirror successful policies adopted around the globe, such as China’s Special Economic Zones. If the Law is adopted, the President claims that he will create three Special Economic Zones that will be located at the South-Pacific coast in order to take advantage of Mexico’s geographic competitive advantage.
The alleged purpose of this law is to close the alarming economic gap between the North and South of Mexico by creating an enabling business environment and integrating the South with global value chains. While the North and Center of Mexico have attracted considerable amounts of Foreign Direct Investment, developed important industrial hubs, and GDP per capita has increased, the South’s economic development has performed poorly and faces high poverty levels. In order to attract private investment in the south of Mexico, the President announced billions of pesos in infrastructure as well as tax and finance incentives as part of this new economic policy.
Given that subsidies are subject to the disciplines established within the legal framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), one might question whether Mexico’s initiative is WTO compliant. Therefore, this entry explores whether the cited initiative conflicts with WTO Law. By doing so, it will first provide a brief explanation about Special Economic Zones, China’s Special Economic Zones, and the initiative proposed by the Mexican president.Read More »