Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Donald Trump, the Paris Accord, & International Law.

What is the Paris Accord?
In brief, the Climate Accord is known as a framework or agreement intended to reduce climate change and global warming by having member states in the UN establish goals for dealing with the issue, gradually reaching them, and reporting frequent reports to the UN.

Donald's Decision
Donald Trump around a month ago, had made the executive decision of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Accord. This significant decision left many around the world in shock as it shows the president's possible disregard and lack of care for the environment.

Opinion: How the President's Decision impact international law
 “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. " Those were the words which rattled many world leaders who were active participants in the agreement. Mr. Trump's quote can be interpreted in a variety of ways. However, judging from the President's word choice, I believe the president intends to no longer fulfill his requirements for the Paris Accord. If this is what he is getting at and really will " cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord" immediately, then this has a tremendous effect on international law and the decision may result in many consequences. The Paris Agreement clearly displays the withdrawal process. It states that "At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary". The U.S had been subject to the Agreement starting from the year 2016, and yet Mr. Trump attempts to " cease all implementation" this year. Since the Agreement outlines that a Party can only withdraw 3 years later, Trump has in a way, breached international law. It is also outlined that the agreement is indeed binding, "[b]ut it contains non-binding elements," for instance, "in its text—indicated by" using words such as “should”; words that aren't necessarily demanding a State to do something (Lawfare). I believe that Mr. Trump had made the wrong decision when deciding to withdraw from the accord. Not only may it possibly lead to international relations issues, but it also is a significant decision which can have a dramatic effect on the world as a whole, mostly because the United States emits a considerable amount of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.


"Full Text of Trump's Speech – 'Draconian' Paris Accord Dumped." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 01 June 2017. Web. 28 June 2017. <>.

"Paris Agreement." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 June 2017. Web. 28 June 2017.      --------       ----   -------------------------<>.

Remember, I am still learning and if my opinion, analysis, arguments, or anything at all could be improved in any way let me know! Also, keep in mind that  I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Brief Opinion and Analysis on the ICJ Case: "Land Boundary in the Northern Part of Isla Portillos (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua) "

Before reading, know this:
Also known as the Isla Calero, is an island under Costa Rican sovereignty. During the year 2010, an area in Isla Portillo's, specifically the northern part, was disputed as Nicaragua had shown occupation of the area by sending its troops towards the location.

Map of Isla Portillos
(Image src:

Subject of the Dispute:
The dispute mainly "concerns the precise location of the land boundary separating the Los Portillos/Harbor Head Lagoon sandbar from Isla Portillos." In Costa Rica's application to the ICJ, the state mentioned that the "illegal establishment of a military camp by Nicaragua on the beach of Isla Portillos, a territory belonging to Costa Rica" is a pertinent issue that the country wishes to be dealt with through the International Court of Justice. Costa Rica mentions that "Isla Portillos, [is] a territory belonging to Costa Rica, [which was] confirmed by the Court in its Judgment of 16 December 2015".

Costa Rica's Claim
  • Costa Rica still has complete sovereignty over Isla Portillos as the ICJ in a previous case had granted Costa Rica control over the "disputed territory"
  •  Nicaragua had moved its military camp on three separate occasions to three different locations

Nicaragua's Claim
  • Nicaragua did not deny the different locations of the military encampments 
  • Costa Rica had protested that Nicaragua had established their military camp on Costa Rican soil, Nicaragua chose to not move the camp.
  • Nicaragua now states that “the entire stretch of coast abutting the Caribbean Sea between Harbor Head and the river’s mouth” under their sovereign control.

The International Court of Justice
(Image src:

OPINION: What the Court's Ruling Should Be
The ICJ clearly has jurisdiction over the case and therefore is able to produce a decision to resolve the dispute. I personally believe that the ICJ shall state that the Nicaragua had violated Costa Rica's sovereignty by unjustifiably establishing their military camp on Costa Rican soil. The ICJ shall demand that Nicaragua immediately removes its military encampment as it has violated international law. I am in support of the decisions the state of Costa Rica requests to the ICJ and I believe it shall produce the same decisions the Costa Rica has requested.

*I received most of the information for this post using Costa Rica's application to the ICJ

Remember, I am still learning and if my opinion, analysis, arguments, or anything at all could be improved in any way let me know! Also, keep in mind that  I am just providing my own opinion and would be happy to have feedback and opinions from you as well.