Contemporary issues in international law
by Kenneth Mwenda
ISBN: 978-1-920538-95-8
Pages: 155
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

 “Whether International Law is really law is one of those vexed questions that still linger. Prof. Mwenda’s three-pillar approach to looking at International Law is an exceedingly useful conceptual framework which is, at the same time, emblematic of the malleable nature of the discipline. The analysis demonstrates when States pay attention to international law, why they feel compelled to do so, when they choose not to, and why all that matters. This is an extremely timely and accessible book which should be useful to the legal academy and to practitioners.”

Chief Counsel for Environmental and International Law, Legal Vice-Presidency, The World Bank


“Prof. Mwenda’s book, ‘Contemporary Issues in International Law’, is a must-read masterpiece on international law for practitioners, academics and students of public international law. It is a thought-provoking book that touches on contemporary issues confronting international law at a time when multilateralism…is under serious threat. It touches on issues that need to be discussed and addressed in order to be able to deal with the emerging challenges of rising nationalism among leading nations of the world.”

Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)


About the author

A recipient of the Presidential Insignia of Meritorious Achievement (PIMA), awarded for his outstanding scholaly works, Prof. Kenneth K. Mwenda is a Rhodes Scholar and alumnus of the University of Oxford and Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government. He also studied at Harvard University Business School, Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires), MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stanford University, London Business School, Yale University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, the University of Warwick, the University of Hull and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. A widely recognised thought-leader and author of more than twenty-five (25) scholarly books and over one hundred (100) articles in leading academic journals, Prof Mwenda has taught at leading universities in Europe, North America and Africa, maintaining a parallel life in academia and at the World Bank. His scholarly work has been cited as authority not only in academia, but also by courts of law and various international organisations and international financial institutions.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction  

Chapter 2: Is international law really law?  
2 Introduction  
2.1 The relationship between international law and  municipal law  
2.1.1 Dualism and monism  
2.1.2 Theories of coordination  
2.2 Pertinent aspects of sources of international law and the relationship of international law to municipal law
2.3 The enforcement argument against international law  
2.4 The doctrine of pacta sunt servanda  
2.5 The doctrine of erga omnes  
2.6 State practice
2.7 Conclusion 

Chapter 3: Deep sea-bed mining under customary international law
3 Introduction
3.1 Salient features of treaty law and customary international law
3.2 The Continental Shelf Convention 1958
3.3 The Law of The Sea Convention 1982
3.4 Practice of the United States
3.5 The legal vacuum theory
3.6 Conclusion 

Chapter 4: Illicit financial outflows, debt and human rights
Part I
4 Introduction
4.1 Outline of the chapter
4.2 Odious debts
Part II: Odious debts as illicit financial outflows
4.3 A conceptual understanding of odious debts
4.4 International law and odious debts
4.5 Challenges to introducing liability for odious debts: The case of Africa
4.6 Personal, as opposed to functional, immunity of a head of state
Part III: Vulture funds and illicit financial outflows
4.7 The concept of vulture funds
4.8 Vulture funds and the doctrine of freedom of contract
4.9 Vulture funds and debt relief
4.10 State legislative efforts to control vulture funds
Part IV: Money laundering and corruption and their role in illicit financial outflows
4.11 The concept of money laundering
4.12 Money laundering and corruption: A weak culture of human rights
4.13 Conclusion 

Chapter 5: International law and the diplomatic immunity of corrupt diplomats
5 Introduction
5.1 The concept of diplomatic immunity
5.2 The concept of a diplomatic démarche
5.3 Diplomatic immunity in the light of corrupt practices by a diplomat
5.4 Conclusion

Chapter 6: COMESA Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2016: Regional integration and international law
6 Introduction
6.1 Jurisdiction of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.2 Scope of application of the COMESA Court of Justice Rules of Procedure 2016 
6.3 Organisation of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.4 Composition and quorum of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.5 Powers of the president and the principal judge of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.6 Powers and functions of the registrar of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.7 The registers of the COMESA Court of Justice
6.8 Parties appearing before the COMESA Court of Justice and their representatives
6.9 Conclusion

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