Global governance of gene modifying technologies (GMTs) is deeply intertwined with human security, where the potential uses and applications of GMTs can have profound implications for the world. The rapid advancement in tools such as CRISPR-Cas-9 has accelerated the developments of COVID-19 vaccines, for instance. However, human enhancement using such technologies can also be unfair and unethical, with potentially irreversible change to the human germline. As these implications are transnational and intergenerational, this suggests the need for a clearly defined international framework of governance, where such a framework on GMTs could encourage responsibility and accountability from the relevant actors. The paper focuses on the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the global governance of human genome editing as a case study to explore the WHO's regulatory power which reflects more broadly the shifting role of international law in the global health security discourse.
International organizations have for more than a century gradually affirmed their role as leading actors amidst global governance, which led them to exercise strengthened powers over States and individuals alike. Today, people increasingly turn their hopes towards the United Nations or the International Criminal Court as their last bulwarks against oppression. Yet, it matters to ascertain that such expectations be justified in the first place. Do international organizations have a duty to exercise their powers? Under what conditions? And with what consequences? This study considers a hypothetical duty to act of international organizations with regard to both states and individuals. In so doing, it examines the potential sources for such an obligation, as well as modalities for its implementation in the context of allocation of power within organizations structures and the interplay between autonomy and duties that results therefrom.
International law has seen challenges in terms of lack of applicable norms governing conducts of international organizations (IOs) while there have been an increasing number of cases where their activities resulted in unjustifiable situations causing impacts on or damage to individuals without any access to sufficient remedies. This study focuses on the issue of IOs accountability and seeks positive legal bases for accountability, on which IOs‘ obligations to protect human rights or to ensure the Rule of Law in their internal legal orders are based, examined through the lens of teleological interpretation of their constituent instruments. This study deepens and generalizes Benvenisti‘s (2013) view of referring to functional necessity as a legal basis for accountability. Considering IOs constituent instruments in this manner allows to identify limits over their powers and rectifying their accountability deficits.
In 2019, the South Korean and Japanese governments removed each other from their white lists of countries with preferential export controls due to historical issues. Regarding historical reconciliation, while the Japanese administration has moved to the ‘politics of omission‘ with ‘minimum political responsibility,‘ the Korean to the ‘politics of memory,‘ demanding ‘legal responsibility‘. An emergent regional economic community-building order is needed to invest in trust-building, and the rule of law should undergird this process. East Asia concluded the RCEP in 2021. However, its integration has been recognized as having an insufficient legal structure. To establish trust, the issues of historical reconciliation of imperialism and its philosophical foundation must be addressed by both the sovereigns (citizens). Having found common ground between them, the two countries can form a liberal democratic legal community and defend the expansion of dictatorship on the continent.
There is an emerging world order characterized by voluntary pledges within a legal or “legal-ish“ architecture of commitments. The pledging world order incubated in the international response to climate change but has developed in diverse sites that cross the public-private divide and blur the lines between them. Pledging as a legal technology is distinctly underwhelming—facilitating incremental, non-disruptive action—but it may be the best available approach for climate change. As a world order, pledging is a both a symptom of and a contributor to the dismantling of the Westphalian and Post-war orders. It erodes distinctions between public and private - multilateralism and localism - the global North and South - law and not-law - and progress and stasis. It gives no pride of place to public actors, spaces, or values. Normative responses will embrace this technocratic, neoliberal logic of action, reclaim a logic of publicness, or somehow mediate between these logics.