State sovereignty to form the basis of international relations
Against the backdrop of ongoing geopolitical shifts, international law has demonstrated its inadequacy as an effective means of protecting human rights and freedoms. The current system of international law is selective in nature, and the diktat of certain countries is greatly damaging national sovereignty. However, a new multipolar world is taking shape. This emerging order should be founded on principles of sovereignty and equality between allied countries. That is according to participants at the 11th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum plenary session, entitled Sovereignty in Law.
The rule of law will form the basis of a new form international cooperation
“Russia will continue to advocate the forging of mutually beneficial partnerships in the political sphere and also on matters related to security, the economy, science, culture and sport. It is our conviction that the rule of law and respect for nations’ sovereignty form a solid foundation for a more democratic and just multipolar world which is emerging,” Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation (reading the welcome address by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin).
“We are committed to the position that the principle of sovereignty should be respected as part of the international legal order – an order based on the independence of sovereign states with the right to manage their rights and obligations in line with specific documents,” Yasonna Laoly, Minister of Law and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia.
The sovereignty of the state and law will determine the fate of humanity over the coming decades
“Today, everything has changed. State sovereignty and sovereignty in law are largely going to play a defining role, not only in the development of legal systems, but also in the fate of humanity for many decades to come. They will create a so-called image of the future, in which there cannot be any place for the right of the elite, or for the supremacy of an overarching law for everyone,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
“Constitutional sovereignty is the ability for each state to act independently in developing, discussing, adopting and implementing its constitution,” Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) of Uzbekistan; Director of the National Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights, Academician.
Inequality in the international arena is undermining the international legal system
“Today the imposition of unlawful sanctions, disregard for the principles of equality between nations, non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and termination of agreements upholding strategic stability seriously undermine the international legal system and destroy its very essence,” Konstantin Chuychenko, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation (reading the welcome address by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin).
“Of course, the unilateral actions taken by the US are today having the effect of making international norms and rules less applicable. Under no circumstances must we allow this to prevail and destroy international law,” Amin Hossein Rahimi, Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“It is out of the question for the international courts to determine their own purview, as did the European Court of Human Rights, international investment tribunals and similar bodies with tarnished reputations. These organizations fabricated cases to make them look more important and to justify the many millions spent on their existence, while serving the interests of a group of Western elites,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
There is a crisis of international law and a degradation of the legal system
“In a certain sense, international law is on the wane, and there has been a degradation of the international legal system. <...> However, this does not mean that we should abandon international law, as it is a vital tool for communication between nations,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
“The forced colonization which continues to this day began with the Hague Tribunal. The Hague Tribunal created the rules that neoliberal globalism spread using the law as a tool. If international law supports the interests of neoliberal globalism, it will be respected,” Goran Petronijeviс, Lawyer, Legal Advisor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; President, Center for the Restoration of International Law.
Basing international legal relations on the principle of equality and sovereignty of states
“Today, our task is to bring international relations back to what it originally meant – to the principles of equality and cooperation, rather than diktat and domination. That means having respect for the law first of all; to abide by the spirit and letter of the law, and the principles of international law stemming from this,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
“By committing to the principles of sovereign equality, we are able to fully take into account the interests of our states, preserve their national identity, support and strengthen each other, and reach mutually beneficial compromises. We need to fully build a multipolar world in which the sovereignty of states holds real significance and value,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
Fostering cooperation through the establishment of jurisdictional bodies at international organizations
“An important issue today is the establishment of jurisdictional bodies at regional and international organizations. These currently exist in international economic associations such as the Eurasian Economic Union, and in Asia. It is possible that similar bodies could be set up under the SCO and other associations. <...> All sanctions aside from those imposed by the UN are unlawful by nature. We do not recognize them, Iran does not recognize them, and other countries do not recognize them. There are many of us, and we must fight together,” Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.
“A sanctions club should be established, with like-minded countries coming together to develop legal mechanisms that respect sovereignty, law, and international law. We can then begin to identify ways to counter the sanctions. <...> Financial and economic rules also need to be established. The dollar should no longer be used as an international currency, and be replaced with national currencies. <...> This sanctions club should file a lawsuit against the authors of the sanctions, and demand restitution,” Amin Hossein Rahimi, Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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