Tag: human rights

The “Renaissance” of the EU-US Trade Relationship: Tensions and Progress in a Fast-Moving Digital World

Giulio Kowalski

The EU-US trade partnership is the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship between the largest economies in the world (the EU economy accounts for 25.1% of global GDP and the US one represents 21.6%). Although bilateral, the EU-US trade partnership heavily impacts the global economy given that the EU or the US (or both) are the most important business partners for most countries worldwide. Furthermore, although the role of China as the EU’s import source for goods has greatly expanded in the last years, the US remains the EU’s largest trade and investment partner.

After the tensions characterizing the “Trump era” (e.g., US tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium recently suspended for a two-year period), the EU-US partnership on trade seems to be experiencing its “Renaissance”. The new Biden administration may provide a chance for a renovated transatlantic partnership, centred on cooperation over global challenges such as climate change and the concerns originating from the digitalisation of the economy. With regard to the latter issue, the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (EU-US TTC), established in June 2021 following an EU-US Summit, proves the improvement in the EU-US relation. In particular, one of the Council’s main goals is to strengthen the EU-US global cooperation on technology, digital issues and supply chains. The summit served to reiterate the EU-US commitment over the reform of the WTO’s negotiating function and dispute settlement system. Nonetheless, as will be extensively illustrated in the following, tensions do not seem to have been dispelled completely (e.g., the suspension of aluminium and steel tariffs is only temporary).
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International Shipping, the Belt and Road Initiative and Migrants at Sea

Andrea Maria Pelliconi and Pia Rebelo

This year, the well-known book series in Maritime and Transport Law, Il Diritto Marittimo – Quaderni, devoted an entire volume to issues related to the Belt and Road Initiative and the topic of migrants at sea. These topics are reflective of shipping’s role in achieving the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by addressing the factors that undermine environmental protection, economic stability, security and safe migration. Two City Law School doctoral researchers – Andrea Maria Pelliconi and Pia Rebelo – contributed to the latest edition of Il Diritto Marittimo with articles entitled, ‘Migrants at Sea and the implications of the “duty to rescue”: human rights perspectives in the light of the Italian case-law’ and ‘Vessel-Source Pollution in the Belt And Road Initiative: Green Finance as a  Regulatory Tool for Environmental Sustainability’, respectively.

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International Law, Brexit, and the ‘Migrant Crisis’: a human rights test for UK asylum strategies

Andrea Maria Pelliconi

In 2020, the government of the United Kingdom is facing the electoral defeat of its main transatlantic ally, a possible no-deal Brexit and an unprecedented worldwide pandemic. Yet the Home Office is primarily concerned about another (perceived) critical threat: few thousands migrants crossing the Channel yearly to seek asylum on the island.

Over the past months a wide range of rather creative solutions were suggested to deal with the issue. The Home Office revitalised the ‘good old days’ idea behind the penal colonies of the great White Australia policy and decided that that ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is a valid policy principle after all. In October 2020, externalising asylum processing centres on remote British territories in the Atlantic Ocean was suggested. The Home Office envisioned transferring migrants to Ascension Island – an island 4,000 miles away, barely inhabited and rather inhospitable to human life. Further leaks identified other possible territories being considered for extraterritorial processing, including Moldova, Morocco and Papua New Guinea – which, apparently, were entirely in the dark about the idea. Weeks before, the proposed solution was buying retired ferries and converting them into floating asylum-processing centres. More recently, British people heard about pushing dinghies back to France with a wave machine or fishing asylum seekers with big nets.

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The BBC’s prohibition on staff attending BLM or LGBTQ+ marches appears unlawful

Thomas Bennett

The British Broadcasting Corporation’s director general, Tim Davie, recently announced new rules on impartiality for employees. These rules prohibit BBC journalists from publishing any statements or ‘public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues’ – even in a personal capacity outside of working hours – that might be seen to lend support to a particular political perspective, in order to prevent accusations of bias from arising against those journalists. It has been Continue reading

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