Global North

Vulnerability and the Speed of the Global Economy: Searching a new vocabulary for international economic law

International trade is not free of costs; the dominant view is that the benefits outweigh these costs. Following Ricardo and other free trade enthusiasts, the premise inbuilt in international economic law is that trade is a win-win social activity. Everybody would be better off in the long-run. Meanwhile, the immediate losers could perhaps expect that international economic rules would take their interests seriously, as in making their vulnerability visible or ensuring they receive compensation, particularly when the long-run takes too long to arrive.

Adopting a Universal Tax Regime for Outer Space Exploration

For decades, humans have been drawn to space exploration for scientific, security and commercial purposes. Private companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have undertaken daring projects to commercialize outer space, including tourism, mining space resources and establishing installations and even extra-terrestrial habitats. The allocation of the benefits from outer space is a highly disputed issue, from the early days of space exploration to date. We believe that the issue of taxation, hardly discussed so far, is vital when considering the proper distribution of space benefits

The Role of Multilateral Actors in Promoting Equitable Access to Medicines, Vaccines and Therapeutics: A Global South Perspective

Traditional medicines have an equally important role as vaccines, therapeutics and medical devices protected through classical IPRs such as patents. For this reason, it is important to include traditional medicines within the scope of IPR protection, including within the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. Doing so would go beyond the classical debate of protecting medicines, vaccines and therapeutics mainly through patents as currently understood within the TRIPS Agreement.

Circular economy: a concept to eliminate ‘rubbish law’?

The circular economy concept is receiving an increasing amount of attention by academics, law-and policy-makers, and private stakeholders as an alternative economic model to realise a transition to a low-carbon, sustainable future. Drivers behind the circular economy concept’s popularity include growing public awareness of plastics waste and biodiversity impacts, increasing competitiveness for natural resources globally especially amongst the G20, and innovations in bio and digital technologies.

Webinar Series II: Vulnerability in the Trade and Investment Regimes in the Age of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities while creating new ones for many regions particularly in Africa, Latin America, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. COVID-19 as well as the trade wars among the major trading economies of the world that preceded it have threatened abandonment and disruption of the global trade and investment regime all the time while promising actual reform. This webinar which follows the conclusion of the four-part Symposium on COVID-19 and International Economic Law in the Global South, will explore these themes from a variety of perspectives.

Value chain Trade: a new dawn for ‘development’?

A new economic wisdom seems to be informing the development agenda of international economic institutions, including the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO). The argument is that, although global value chains (GVCs) have existed for a long time, the pace and intensity of global interactions is rapidly changing, consisting of ever more functional ‘fractionalization’ and geographical ‘dispersion’ of production, and so is the nature of trade, with the unprecedented increase in the exchange of components and tasks originating in different parts of the world.

The IEL Collective Symposium III: Reimagining International Economic Law for Sustainable Development

Currently, the world finds itself at a crisis point. The global health pandemic caused by COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we live, how we run our economies and even, how we teach and research IEL. In the post-COVID world, old rules and games may not apply any more. The scholarly interventions presented in the IEL Collective symposia offers tools for a new, pragmatic internationalism – one based on critical reflection, methodological diversity and contributes towards the development of a more holistic landscape of scholarship on law and the governance of the global economy.

Sovereign Debt and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis is likely to make countries in the global south accumulate more debt in a global economic environment where repayment of current debt will be difficult. The speech by Thomas Sankara on the morality of debt repayment asks us very difficult questions which humanity must collectively confront if debt crises are to become relics of past economics. The collective inability by the global south to assert itself on negotiating tables and to recreate itself in the aftermath of various global crises has been a sad misuse of crises.

Evacuated from Africa but Present in Africa’s Economy through Telework: Who gets to Tax them?

Under the Model Conventions, each African country has lost taxation rights over cross-border workers who have been evacuated from it but who are still deriving income from it through telework. Telework, a term originally coined by Jack Nilles, is ‘the activity of working from home while communicating with your office by phone or email, or using the internet’. The COVID-19 pandemic has made social distancing an imperative and, consequently, we are witnessing an unprecedented reliance on telework.