By | October 17, 2021

Basic principles of international economic law


“Economic relations, as well as political relations and other relations between states, will be guided, among other things, by the following principles”:

• sovereign equality of all states;

• non-aggression;

• non-interference;

• mutual and equal benefit;

• peaceful coexistence;

• equal rights and self-determination of peoples;

• peaceful settlement of disputes;

• the restoration of injustices that have been forcibly brought and that deprive a nation of the natural means necessary for its normal development;

• fulfilment in good faith of international obligations;

• respect for human rights and international obligations;

• promotion of international social justice;

• international development cooperation;

• free access to and from the sea from landlocked places within the framework of the above principles “.


The right to economic development


One of the central elements of NIEO and CERDS was the economic development of the states. This element was reinforced through a 1986 resolution of the UN General Assembly on the right to the economic development of forms. The main operational provisions of this statement read as follows:


“Article 1-1) The right to development is an inalienable human right to which every person and all peoples have the right, contribute and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, where all fundamental human rights and freedoms can be fully realized.

2) The human right to development also means the full realization of the people’s right to self-determination, which includes, under the relevant provisions of both International Covenants on Human Rights, the exercise of their inalienable right to full sovereignty above all natural wealth and resources.


“Article 2-1) The human person is the main object of development and must be an active participant and beneficiary of the right.

2) All human beings is responsibilities for development, individually and collectively, taking into account the need for full respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms and their duties to the community, which can only ensure the complete fulfilment and full of human beings. Therefore they must promote and protect the proper political, social and economic.


3) States have the right and the duty to formulate relevant national development policies aimed at the continuous improvement of the well-being of the entire population and all individuals, based on their active, free and meaningful participation in development and equitable distribution. of the benefits deriving from it. ”


Although the right to development is a difficult right to define in concrete terms and has little legal significance, the articulation of this right in 1986 enabled the international community to rely on it to support and develop:

• other principles of international trade and development;

• special and preferential treatment for developing countries;

• the need to address the problem of global debt.



Analyzing the potential for complementary based on what human rights can bring to the leading development economy, this analysis highlights some important factors to understand the implications for economical distribution and its inevitable link to law:


a. The need to focus on distribution outcomes (economically, on the distribution function – not just production and exchange functions) and place them at the centre of economic development policies and value judgment. Human rights are about the distribution of results, as well as a similar process.


b. Putting people at the centre of economic development, focusing on distributed / marginal distribution results, rather than aggregate/average results, and emphasizing the need for disaggregated data. This would complement existing approaches by bringing additional attention to the rights of the most marginalized groups.


c. The need for a more transparent prioritization of human rights in economic policy and decision-making, recognizing their outstanding value and against whom other matters’ merits ​​must be justified.


d. The need for explicit new norms of economic well-being and value assessments built around distribution and redistribution objectives that reflect human rights objectives.


Lack of knowledge of the human rights framework by development actors is a limiting factor. Sometimes a lack of knowledge can be more important in explaining specific tensions than de facto disagreements. Thus, this study’s brought forward is a complementary perspective between human rights and the economy. This perspective can translate into promising results in terms of poverty reduction and growth quality.


The analysis also concluded that economic and commercial activities and the law in their function continued to expand, and the statute notes this on International Economic Law. The leading international economic agenda in the post-World War II period included promoting the free movement of goods and capital across borders and enabling to use their natural resources to the maximum extent possible for their economic development. International economic law attempted to achieve this expansion of global economic and commercial activities and regulate everywhere and any possible aspect without paying severe much attention to aspects of economic development.


Recently, however, developments taking place within international law have influenced the development of international economic law. The international principle of sustainable development law, a relatively new code, has profoundly impacted global economic law. Within the UN Economic Development Agenda, a marked shift in emphasis on economic development theory began in 1987 with the introduction of sustainable development, which sought to place some restrictions on economic growth in favour of the need to protect the environment.


This whole idea aimed to unite both developing and developed countries in pursuit of a common agenda. The history of international economic law is essentially the history of the interaction between law and international politics, its heart have been the national interests of the great powers of the day and their desire to modify international economic law to ‘adapted to their priorities.





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