Second Issue of 2008’s Journal du Droit International

ClunetThe second issue of French Journal du Droit International (also known as Clunet) will be released shortly. It does not contain articles which directly deal with conflict issues. Yet, three of them might be of interest for readers of this blog.

This first is authored by Tunisian professor Lofti Chedly and discusses 14 years of application of the Tunisian law on international arbitration (L’arbitrage international en droit tunisien. 14 ans après le code). The English abstract reads as follows:

On April 26th, 1993 the Code of Arbitration was promulgated in Tunisia, a Code which devotes its third chapter to international arbitration. Fourteen years later, a reflection and an assessment of the contribution of the Code seem obvious and necessary. The adoption of this text, yet strongly inspired by the UNCITRAL type law of 1985 is a significant achievement, following its modernism and its liberalism, does not mean that there are no shortcomings, gaps and even inconsistencies in the current text… In order to allow Tunisia to find a place in international arbitration, certain prospects of the evolution of the code appear essential. An interpretation of these prospects is proposed and focuses in particular on the necessary “ re-conceptualization ” of the internationality of arbitration, which actually conditions all the system of international arbitration which also deserves a reform in order to clarify the access to this dispute resolution method and to support the autonomy of the arbitration procedure…

The second article discusses the responsability of multinationals operating in the energy sector as far as local development is concerned (La responsabilité sociale des multinationales spécialisées dans l’extraction des minerais et hydrocarbures). The author is Cécile Rénouard, a scholar at ESSEC Business school, who published a book on the topic last year. The English abstract reads as follows:

What about the voluntary agreements (Memorandum of Understanding or MoU) signed by extractive industries with local communities close to their production sites ? Are they just a mean to get their social licence to operate or do they express a responsible commitment toward local development ? Ethics is needed as a critical tool to assess the activity of multinationals and not only as an instrument in order to make profit (« Ethics pays »). The MoU signed by Total in Nigeria show a paradigm shift in the way the corporation understands its contribution to the areas where it operates and its implementation of ethical principles. This analysis raises the question of the necessary means to consolidate these voluntary commitments, and perhaps to transform them into a compulsory approach.

The author of the third article is Beat Hess, the General Counsel of Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The piece discusses the legal perspectives of the energy industry (Faire face aux défis juridiques dans l’industrie de l’énergie). The abstract reads:

Given the “ hard truths ” of the global energy outlook – accelerating demand, more challenging exploration and production environments, and increasing pressure to deal with carbon dioxide emissions – energy companies have a central role to play in diversifying their portfolios and enhancing energy efficiency. Beat Hess gives a legal perspective on global energy scenarios and offers a choice of requirements that, in his view, lawyers involved in the sector will need to meet.