Showing posts with label International Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International Law. Show all posts

I.                   Introduction


Due to the developments in electronic commerce both developed as well as developing countries are offered unprecedented opportunities. Looking at the short run the benefits in a developed country are concentrated but in the longer run the countries that are developing are at a benefit, the reason as to why the developing countries like India only are at an advantage in the long run is due to the fact that they lack the adequate infrastructure to use the internet to its fullest advantage. The process of e-commerce is very dynamic in nature, i.e. it involves the whole business process of transport, sale, exchange and payments. The following sections will address the following, Section II the concept of ecommerce in relation to international trade , Section III the effect of ecommerce on international trade, Section IV the application of ecommerce in international trade and lastly ,concluding remarks. 


II.                The Concept of Ecommerce in Relation to International Trade


Through the Internet, electronic commerce alters the transactions and relations in an economy which also stimulates trade and brings about a change which is uncertain yet fundamental in the labor market. The World Trade Organization, simplifies the definition of e-commerceas it is a network of telecommunication of sales, production advertising and distribution. Further, Organization for Economic Co-operation states that it generally refers to online and digital processing of commercial transactions.


These advancements in the fields of information technology and communication have the ability to decrease the costs in relation to processing and gathering information considerably. Information being better available to all economic agents. E-commerce reduce the costs in relation to trade and will make it more available in an international as well as local level. E-commerce has a few competitive advantages such as, It reduces transaction costs, it reduces inventory, it shortens the production cycle and lastly, it increasers opportunities.

Fig.1: Source- world bank [i]


From the table the surge of the use of the internet can be viewed and also gives an understanding of how people use the internet. According to the first section, internet usage has increased at an exponential rate in recent years. Between 2010 and 2015, the percentage of online consumers in each country increased by around 20%, with the cellular network accounting for the majority of the increase due to its greater spatial versatility in use. This table can also be linked to international trade as the use of the internet grows, the use of e-commerce grows which had a positive effect on international trade too as the base increases.



III.             The Effect of Ecommerce on International Trade


Both developed and developing counties are offered significant opportunities through e-commerce, and the developments in e-commerce is likely to have both a direct as well as an indirect impact on international trade. While using e-commerce the process of trade can be made more cost effective, faster and easier. Information collection is a necessity which is costly when there is a need to acquire information from national borders and this cost being substantially high can be considered a trade barrier. Locating the right resources such as supplies, arranging production and product requirements, the price, quality and along with the delivery and marketing can have expenses which are high, here is where e-commerce and the internet can be used as it involves all actives without the need of the close involvement of buyers and sellers. The use of the internet makes the process far less expensive and therefore, promotes international trade. In the concept of international trade the exporters and importers have their own business purpose, and only when this purpose between both parties are linked can there be a trade.


However, the promotion of international trade from e-commerce will depend on the nature and type of goods i.e. A variety of goods that have typically needed physical distribution can now be distributed to customers in digital form through a network. Media products such as videos, and software programs are instances of these. However, since the majority of goods exchanged globally are not delivered in digital form, transport costs will continue to be an important factor.[ii] Therefore, as the use of the internet increases the possibilities in the world of e-commerce also increases and it facilities international trade as it is more cost-effective  and easier to do.



IV.             The Application of Ecommerce on International Trade


Over the years e-commerce as an tool innovation in international trade has shown an immense role as a contribute on global production. Certain ways for global business has been developed by companies involved in the international market in e-commerce and marketing. In India the government has put up certain restrictions that place certain restrictions on international companies selling products in the Indian market through an online market, such regulations are in place in order to safeguard companies in India from facing competition from global leaders like Amazon. Presently, 100% FDI is allowed when it comes to B2B ecommerce in India, but in relation to B2C, there are prohibitions, there is also a local sourcing norm of 30% for international players.[iii]


E-commerce in International trade is using a whole process of the use of modern technology for communication, network usage and even electronic transmission of data from a complete establishment of trade relations, transaction settlements and even applying for permits. There are several studies that have questioned if the use of internet has an effect on trade, for example in a study of Central Asia and Eastern Europe by collection data from 20 middle income countries it was proved that place and companies with a better source of information technology and internet, export more in comparison to enterprises which do not have adequate connection. [iv]



V.                Conclusion


Although, the use of e-commerce is increasing at a significant rate, the fraction of use is minute in the trade industry, however it continues to be a sustainable way of trade and its impact will become more dominate.International trade is promoted by the use of the internet as it aids to lift the trade barriers, hence, the ability and quality of international trade will increase with the help of e-commerce. As countries accept imports from economies of an higher income then intern benefit from a spillover of knowledge. The trade in services are also impacted positively through ecommerce.While countries have accepted and accomplished a lot through e-commerce , to realize the full potential in trade they need to consider the certain challenges i.e. information infrastructure, Regulatory framework, legal security, the payment and delivery facilities and the skills recurred for expansion of e-commerce. Thus, electronic commerce can be adapted in expanding international trade markets which leads to a creating an opportunity for foreign trade whole keeping in mind the challenges faced above.

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[i]R. Schware and P. Kimberley, “Information Technology and National Trade Facilitation,” World Bank Technical Paper No. 317, 1995

[ii] ECLAC. Electronic Commerce, International Trade and Employment: Review of The Issues. UN, Economic commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECLAS, Washington Office, April 2002, pp 1-30.

[iii]Farhat Fatima, Flipkart-Myntra; From a Merger to an Acquisition International Journal of Management and International Business Studies.ISSN 2277-3177Volume 4, Number 1 (2014), pp. 71-8

[iv]Clarke, G. R.G., (2001). Does Internet Connectivity Affect Export Performance? Evidence from the Transition Economies. Mimeo, World Bank, Washington DC.2001


Often times, people ask themselves,” What happens if a person commits a crime in one country and flees to another country?”One may even think to themselves. ”Let me just rob a bank, leave the country, and live a happy life. I will be free as long as I flee in time. ”Truth is, it is just a matter of time before such a person gets caught. This is due to the concept of extradition. 

Generally, extradition is an act of one country formally handing over an alleged criminal to another country for prosecution for a criminal charge. Therefore in simple terms, if a person commits a crime and flees to another state or country, then the country in which the crime was committed has the right to request for the return of such person from the country which he or she fled to. This whole process depends on the arrangements and agreements between the two countries.

Extradition between countries is governed by treaties. This is because, in International law, no country is obliged to hand over a criminal to another country. The reason being the sovereignty of a country, each country has authority over the people within its borders hence the formation of extradition treaties. A lot of countries have penal code provisions that allow extradition in case there is no extradition treaty between the two countries.

Extradition of a fugitive from India to another country or from another country to India is governed by the provisions in the Extradition Act 1962. Extradition is done only in more serious and big offenses. For example, the extradition treaty between India and the United States of America asserts that extradition can only take place in crimes that are punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. The Principle of Dual Criminality is the most important in Extradition law. It attributes that for extradition to take place, the crime committed must be an offense in countries, the requesting and the requested. Another principle governing the Extradition law is the Principle of Proportionality between the crime and the sentence. The sentence should not be excessively harsh or inhuman as this may result in the decline of extradition. Moreso, the rule of specialty must be considered. The fugitive has to be tried only for the crime he or she extradited for and not any other crime.

There is an ongoing case of Vijay Mallya, an Indian businessman and former Member of Parliament. He is also a former owner of Kingfisher Airlines and former co-founder of Force India One Team, among other businesses he was and is involved in. Mallya is being accused of money laundering and misappropriation. In 2016 he ‘fled’ to the United Kingdom, leaving a debt of approximately Rs 9000 crores. On 18 April 2018, he was arrested by Metropolitan Police in the United Kingdom as he faced accusations of fraud. Since then he has been in and out of prison as the Indian government requested for his extradition from the United Kingdom. He appealed against the extradition in London’s High Court and his plea was rejected.

At hand, his extradition has been withheld as there is a legal issue that needs to be resolved. According to United Kingdom Law, extradition cannot commence before the issue is resolved. Once the issue has been resolved, Mallya will be extradited to India by Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate. The case has been ongoing for almost three years now and all the necessary processes, principles and rules are being followed hence the delay. This delay shows that extradition involves two countries with different jurisdictions and if there is a misunderstood legal issue in either of the countries, extradition can be put to hold.

Another example of extradition is the case of Nirav Modi, an Indian jeweler who has been in prison in the United Kingdom since March last year. He is being charged with fraud and money laundering of approximately $2 billion from Punjab National Bank to which the government of India requested for his extradition. He has made bail attempts which were all denied as he was thought to flee. Another extradition request was made in February this year where he is accused of interfering with the investigation by destroying evidence and threatening witnesses hence resulting in him facing two offenses. Nirav is still in prison and awaits either confirmation or rejection of his extradition by the United Kingdom.

The above cases are similar in the sense that men are businessmen, they are Indian nationalities, they have been requested for extradition by the Indian government and their cases involve fraud and money laundering. In both cases, the Indian government sent a video showing Mumbai’s Author Road Jail where the fugitive is to be held if they are to be extradited. The video showed all the necessary precautions taken to prevent the coronavirus and any harm that can endanger the lives of Mallya and Modi. This proves that Human Rights are being greatly considered in the extradition process. Looking at how much time has been taken for the confirmation of the extraditions, it is evident that the Indian jurisdiction underestimated the process. The British lawyers are seemingly giving them a hard time as they sharply criticized the state of the papers, the numbering, and indexing in particular. Using these cases and the concept of extradition, one can assert that extradition is playing a great role in international cooperation to suppress crime as it promotes countries to stand in solidarity in fighting crime.
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 As per the Kafala System, a migrant worker’s immigration status is legally bound to an individual employer or sponsor (Kafeel) for their sponsor period. In this case, a migrant worker cannot enter the country, transfer employment nor leave the country for any reason without first obtaining the explicit written permission from kafeel. Additionally, the worker must be sponsored by his kafeel to enter the destination country and remains tied to this kafeel throughout his stay in that country[i]
Oftenly Kafeels use this system to abuse the migrant workers by exerting further control over them. Kafeels confiscate their passports and travel documents, despite legislation in some destination countries declares this practice as illegal. The power that the kafala system delegates to a sponsor over a migrant worker can be termed as a contemporary form of slavery. This system creates an environment ripe for human rights violations and erosion of labor standards. The author through this article aims to shed some light on the background and current developments of the Kafala system in the global scenario. The author will also discuss this system under the umbrella of International law. Finally, the author will conclude by giving his outlook.


The kafala system began in the 1950s when several middle east countries started hiring foreign workers to accelerate development following the discovery of oil. This system was formulated to regulate the relationship between employees and migrant workers. This system is now established as a common practice in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), etc. This system was formulated keeping in mind an economic objective i.e. to provide temporary, rotating labor that could be rapidly bought into the country in an economic boom and expelled during the less affluent periods[ii].

Changes and Developments in the global scenario:-

There has been an overwhelming condemnation of the Kafala System. Several international organizations and civil societies have demanded to abolish this system and replace it with an alternate labor migration governance policy but as of now, all the GCC countries lack the political will to abolish this system. The extent of the reform that should be sought remains under debate often underpinned by the fear that advocating for a comprehensive reform of the Kafala system will lead destination countries to seek workers from alternate countries. Several destination countries have made reforms in this system like:
· Jordan introduced a standard contract in 2003 and included domestic workers under its labor law in 2008. In 2009 Jordan also passed a law against people trafficking that criminalizes forced labor for exploitation[iii].
· Istanbul introduced a Unified standard contract in 2009[iv].
· Oman introduced a Law in 2003 making it illegal to loan workers to other employers[v].
· United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced a wage protection system in 2009. Abu Dhabi Department of Justice plans to create a court specialized in looking into cases involving domestic workers[vi]

Some Major Reforms: In Several GCC countries, major reforms have been introduced to end the Kafala System.

  1. Bahrain: - Bahrain ended the migrant worker’s dependence upon employers during entry and exit process. Bahrain provided some degree of employment mobility to the migrant workers as they could change employment without the consent of the current employer, this is a positive acknowledgement of a worker’s right to freedom of movement. Bahrain also allowed the migrant workers to seek new employment provided they give one month notice before their employment contract expires[vii].
  2.  Kuwait:- Kuwait announced that it would abolish the Kafala in February 2011, however instead changed one restriction of the system which made it easier for the migrant workers to change sponsors with the exclusion of migrant domestic workers[viii]
  3. Saudi Arabia: - Recent media reports state that the Ministry of Labor has drafted the new legislation that will end individual sponsorship in the Kingdom. The change would transfer sponsorship to newly created recruitment and placement agencies who will hire out employees temporarily thus the company becomes the migrant worker’s sponsor[ix]

Kafala System vis-a-vis International Law:-

A worker’s rights related to the just and favorable condition of work is protected under the spectrum of International Human Rights. As per article 7[x] of the International Convention on economic, social, and cultural rights, everyone has a right to the enjoyment of just and favorable conditions at the workplace. Under the kafala system, a migrant worker is humiliated till his death which is a transgression of his right under this article. International Labor Organization (ILO) in article 1(b)[xi] its convention no. 105 which focuses on abolition of forced labor prohibits the use of a forced or compulsory labor as a method of mobilizing and using labor for purposes of economic development. Not giving the appropriate legal protection to the migrant workers is a gross violation of ILO’s Convention no. 111[xii] and International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (CERD)[xiii] as it amounts to discrimination.

Conclusion and Recommendations:-

Conclusively, the author wants to strongly condemn the kafala system as it grossly transgresses the basic human rights of an individual. This problem will not be solved by small changes but a major reform is the need of the hour. The mandatory sponsorship system for the migrant workers should be abolished as it is very arbitrary. Countries should take away the power of the employers which empowers them to secure and renew migrant worker’s residency and cancel it anytime. Migrant workers should not be required to acquire the consent of their employers before leaving and changing jobs. All the GCC countries should take every necessary and reasonable step to end this anathema as every human being including the migrant workers, who can’t even afford the basic amenities have some basic human rights guaranteed under several international conventions and they shouldn’t be abridged from these rights.


[i] The “Kafala” system explained, 3 Nov 2020, 9:42 AM,
[ii] Liza Kane Hartnett, Kafala System- A gateway to Slavery, 3 Nov 2020, 9:45 AM,
[iii] Aznar Khan, Reforming the Kafala, Challenges and Opportunities in Moving Forward, 3 Nov 2020, 9:48 AM,
[iv] Id. [v] Id. [vi] Id.
[vii] Bahrain Moves to reform Kafala, Exclusions Remain, 3 Nov 2020, 9:53 AM,,renders%20them%20subject%20to%20abuse.
[viii] Kuwait considers reforms to Kafala labor system, 3 Nov 2020, 9:55 AM,
[ix] Rayhan Uddin, Saudi Arabia set to abolish kafala system, 3 Nov 2020, 9:57 AM,,currently%20subject%20to%20the%20system.
[x] International Convention on economic, social, and cultural rights § 7(1966).
[xi] ILO convention no. 105 § 1(b) (1957).
[xii] ILO convention no. 111 § 1(1958).
[xiii] International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination § 5(1965). 


Many of us have seen China seeking to dominate the World economies with its enormous investments in various countries/businesses/economies. Recently accusation has been raised against China for not sharing the information regarding the spread of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) In this epidemic more innocent civilians were killed than died in a series of wars. It takes years to restore economies, and the social and psychological effects can never be overlooked or accepted. In addition to the economic harm done by the coronavirus, the mortality and suffering done to the inhabitants of the planet cannot go unresolved. 

In 2002, the Guangdong province of China spread the SARS outbreak and by 2003 infected 29 country-states. Seven hundred seventy-four people were affected by the epidemic. The World understood that this cost of innocent lives could have been saved if China had not for several weeks, censored important information on public health and safety. This unfortunate incident resulted in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (I.H.R.) by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its constituent nations in 2005. Allegations were raised against China to have consciously refused to abide by the I.H.R. guidelines in attempting to stop this novel coronavirus from spreading.

In November 2019, Wuhan was the site of the outbreak of the currently identified Covid-19 virus in the Hubei province of China. The national government of China has managed to patch up the details of the epidemic by targeting doctors who might advise of a new infection. If China had taken prompt steps to take account of the fact, it would have contained the virus in sooner December 2019 itself. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist, revealed the information online on December 30 at Wuhan Central Hospital. While the public health authorities in Wuhan requested details on the spread of " pneumonia unclear-cause," Li Wenliang's warning on the latest disease had been suppressed by Government officials. The Municipal Health Commission of Wuhan misrepresented on December 31 that the COVID-19 is non-transmitted diseases. China delayed until February 14, 2020, to reveal about 1700 positive cases of COVID-19. It is evident that for almost two months, China's administration withheld and refused crucial public health information.
China's Liability under International Health Regulations with compliance with WHO's Constitution

The pandemic does the worldwide harm to individuals, the environment, and culture. The severity of the injury has contributed to allegations that China is liable globally for the disease outbreak. Article 6 of the WHO Constitution refers to Public Health Emergencies of International significance (PHEIC). PHEIC, State shall notify the WHO of all public health facts and activities within its jurisdiction within 24 hours of the evaluation. Article 7 obliges all-party nations to exchange all crisis data with the WHO regularly. After verification, Article 11 requires the WHO to transmit that much information with other nations for implementing reasonable precautions. China has disrupted the transmission of data on the outbreak, and China had also shown sluggish behavior for authorizing the WHO team to investigate the Wuhan circumstance. These activities have made it exceptionally challenging for the World Health Organization (WHO) and foreign governments to strategize effectively for this disastrous outbreak.

Concerning violations of I.H.R. guidelines, that is not an unusual situation. Many treaties had not dealt with the compensation for damages caused by the breach of their provisions. Furthermore, treaties do not address that. Moreover, no government has reported that China has contravened its I.H.R. notification responsibilities. The I.H.R. provides a dispute settlement clause, meaning that a foreign government may bring legal action against China that China has breached the I.H.R. and has a duty, in line with the standards of State liability, to provide reparation for damages incurred by the unlawful act.
Liability arose under Customary International law and why such liability is not able to appear any action.

Customary international law states that a State that violates international law "has a responsibility to adequately pay the damage incurred by an external act that is inappropriate." Nations have not actively sought penalties against countries accused of refusing to comply with contractual agreements to disclose diseases or to refrain from implementing trade or travel restrictions that have no medical basis. Due to the convergence of political and epidemiological interests, Countries have not been willing to enforce the customary legislation on state responsibility in terms of contagious diseases.
Allegations by Foreign Governments and their Institutions

The U.S President Trump also welcomed China's reaction to the COVID-19 and even attempted to warn China behind this disease outbreak. U.S President wanted the U.N Security Council Resolution to identify China as the source of the coronavirus.

However, one of the State of U.S. had sue China over economic loss due to COVID-19; however, U.S. courts do not hold any of these civil liability jurisdictions.

Freedom Watch, U.S.A. lodged a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) on the development and eventual release of novel coronavirus classified as a biological weapon, against the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), the People's Liberation Army, Wuhan Virology Institute (WIV) and its head, Shi Zhengli, on April 1 under Article 15 of Rome Statute. French President Emmanuel Macron also criticized the way the disease was treated by China, stating that it had naively assumed that the situation was well managed.

Many governments were claiming that China has breached the I.H.R.and has to negotiate reasonably. On the other hand, WHO lauded China's achievement during the outbreak. The WHO does not determine how state parties view the I.H.R., but the I.H.R. itself grants the WHO such importance and power that no one can overlook its acts in this sense.
China's liability under ARISWA (Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts)

Article 2 of the ARSIWA (Articles on Responsibilities of States for Internationally Wrongful Act) 2001, defines 'wrongful acts' as 'attributable to the state' and that 'constitute a breach of an international obligation.' After the leakage of the virus, the responsibility got transferred from Wuhan Virology Institute (WIV) to President Xi, and all the local Wuhan authorities and all of the Chinese state bodies are responsible for China's misconduct.

China also violated Article 14 ARSIWA by failing to adequately disclose relevantly and transparently information with the WHO in compliance with the I.H.R. and by then prolonging its violation over the full duration during which it proceeded and stayed not in full compliance with its international obligations. The State is obliged to repair the damage caused by wrongful acts as per Article 31 to the whole, both materially and morally.
China's liability under the International Criminal Court

As the Chinese health authorities show the recklessness, China should be held guilty, under Article 7(1) of the I.C.C., of 'other inhuman acts of a similar nature that cause intentionally serious bodily suffering, or physical injury, or body damage' under the 'crimes against humanity' as mentioned.
China's liability under the International Court of Justice in compliance with the U.N. charter and WHO constitution

The WHO Constitution provides organizations with an often-overlooked provision that allows disagreements on the implementation of requirements to the I.C.J. The failure of China's disclosure could probably fail under Articles 22 and 64 of the Constitution, mandating the enforcement of the International Health Regulations and demanding the dissemination of data by government officials. Besides, China's wilfully incompetence in regulating trade in wildlife implies a violation of the WHO's ultimate objective, as enshrined in Article 1. Although untested previously, this pathway assures us to invoke I.C.J.'s controversial competence to evaluate Chinese liability. Article 75 states that the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) shall refer to any dispute regarding the interpretation of the WHO Constitution. If holistically this is read as a whole, it might allow the I.C.J., unless anything, evaluate Chinese liability, omissions, or commissions, to invoke its contentious jurisdiction.

A pandemic of this magnitude has not been encountered and brought before the I.C.J. All of this can be used to make China accountable as a strong analytical and diplomatic pressure tactic. The approval of the disputing parties is not necessary to call on the advisory jurisdiction of the I.C.J. According to Article 96 of the UN Charter, an advisory opinion on any legal matter could be sought in the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Security Council or any other U.N. body. However, it does not have binding authority to give an advisory opinion from the I.C.J. It also requires good faith to be enforced.


It is hard to bring a country like China to the I.C.J. or any other international court. China's submission on the disagreement in compliance with norms to an international forum is extremely rare. China's reaction was not positive, and World had seen this behavior in the South China Sea Dispute, which brought before the International tribunal. The challenge is even more complicated if the perpetrator-state is stable in terms of military and diplomatic relations. China is a core member of the U.N. Security Council, which is vital to remember, and that shall be permitting China to bring up veto power for its cause. Therefore, collective intervention, including trade sanctions against China by member nations, could be one of the possible ways.
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Changes are part of nature. In order to accept it, the question of whether the change is harmful or not arises. If that change is harming the environment and the mankind in return; of course, there is a need to come up with the course of action which prevents such changes. There are various activities and causes which results in rise in seabed. Rise in seabed is such a change which has high level of harmful repercussions on the environment and mankind. Thus, various measures and course of action has to be undertaken to prevent such rise and control the prevailing rate of rise seabed. The existing international environment law can also be considered to stop and decrease the rate of activities which cause the rise in seabed.

Rationale for rise in level of seabed

Reason for rise in sea level is mainly because of the increasing level of global warming. Global warming is caused due to rapid increase in rate of human activities such as burning of coal, deforestation: the amount of carbon-di-oxide absorbed from the environment will be reduced and carbon particles are found suspended in the atmosphere, burning wastes, harmful polluting gasses emitted from automobiles. The gasses emitted into the air increase the temperature of the surroundings. Such increase in temperature has two main harmful effects: one, the ocean warms itself and the other is the ice capes, glaciers, ice sheets starts melting. When ocean warms itself, it expands and occupies more space; this alone has contributed to half of the rise in sea level out of the total 8.9 inches between 1880 and 2015.

Repercussions for rise in level of seabed 

Rise in the level of seabed has serious and harmful repercussions on the environment. These include:

Loss of flora and fauna:

When the sea level rises, the water intrudes, and the surrounding area gradually gets submerged inside the water. This gradually decreases the land space available for animals like polar bears and penguins to live and when sea level finally rises beyond a certain level which can engulf the whole land, the animals of that place naturally get submerged inside the water. This leads to extinction of many species of fauna as well as flora.

Shoreline erosion and degradation:

Rise in sea levels allows waves to penetrate further inwards towards the inland and increase the rate of inland erosion and degradation.

Amplified storm surges:

Storm surges occur when high winds push water inland. When storm surges strike the high-level seabed, the sea water reaches farther inland and causes catastrophic damages to the houses and properties.

Permanent inundation and forced migration:

Many low-lying coastal areas gets permanently submerged under the water. This forces the people living in those areas to forcibly abandon their houses and migrate to other demographic areas.

SALTWATER intrusion:

Salt water can reach the ground water sources as there is increase in the level of seabed. This makes the freshwater (sourced from groundwater) used for drinking and agriculture saline.


International law is an effective tool for protecting the global environment. The following are some of the international environmental laws which govern the rise in seabed:

IPCC framework:

It is the intergovernmental panel on climate change adopted to establish work plan for adaptive responses and strategies based on data regarding environmental implications. This includes identification of coastal areas at risk; developing public awareness of risk to coastal areas; developing research monitoring systems; encouraging integrated coastal area and resource management; evaluating available adaptive options; adopting a framework convention on climate change.

Transboundary air pollution, 1979:

This agreement encourages scientific collaboration and policy negotiation to target air pollution that spreads from its source into the atmosphere. Its main aim is to limit and gradually reduce and prevent air pollution caused by various human activities resulting in increasing rate of global warming and rise in sea level; especially long-range air pollution that crosses national borders.

Montreal Protocol, 1987:

The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer calls for phasing out production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere – chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform. All these gasses are emitted into the atmosphere due to human activities results in increasing the rate of global warming and thus the sea level.

Convention on biological diversity, 1992:

In this pact, most of the world’s governments commit to maintain the world’s ecological underpinnings while pursuing economic development. The convention sets three main goals: conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of plant and animal species, and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources. Though the human beings carry out activities which emit the greenhouse gases causing global warming and rise in sea level with the help of innovative technologies developed through economic development, this pact limits emission of such gases produced because of economic development; and thus protects the bio diversity.

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992:

This convention sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to meet the challenge of climate change. It recognizes the climatic system as a shared resource whose stability can be affected by emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. Thus, it lays down regulations and limitations on carrying on activities which emit such gases and thus reduce the rate of global warming and rise in seabed.

Kyoto Protocol, 1997:

Parties to Kyoto Protocol commit to reducing their emissions of six greenhouse gases or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases, which are linked to global warming.
All these international environmental laws and conventions prevent, reduce, and limit the activities which causes rise in sea level and these also prevent the impact of rise in sea level on environment by laying down laws protecting the biodiversity.


Thus, mainly global warming has to be controlled to decrease the rise in seabed. In order to reduce the rate of global warming, human activities like burning coal and wastes has to be replaced by different methods like using electrical appliances and burying the wastes and recycling, reusing it; deforestation should be reduced by confining the residential areas and making forest intrusion laws stricter along with it the rate of afforestation should also be increased; using electrical run automobiles; regulating and making stricter laws regarding the amount of gases emitted from industries; all this helps in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere and thus prevent rise in sea level. This in turn prevents the impact of rise in sea level on the environment, surroundings, flora, and fauna.


1. Environmental laws, treaties and policies; Genevieve Garcia,
2. Rising sea levels, effects, projections and solutions; Kimberly Amadeo,
3. Causes of sea level rise what science tell us,
4. Sea level rise causes and consequences,
5. Sea level rise, Vamsi Krishna,

-Aradhaya Singh



Initially if we go through there are two major categories of weapons present in the universe that is the Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW). These are little acknowledged despite the far flung use of chemical weapons (CW) in the First World War in 1914 and in more recent times in the Iraq/Iran war happened in 1980’s. Biological Weapons (BW) are also even less acknowledged. Since when in 1990-91 when there was a threat that Iraq might use BW against the coalition forces in the Gulf conflict there has been increased public awareness about various diseases. They were heightened by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Zaire.

Both of these weapons chemical and biological weapons as the name suggests are the harness of chemical or biological substances to cause harm and destruction to mankind most primarily to all the human beings of the universe. Biological weapons applies to the causing of harm to animals and plants present in the universe. They are injected or disseminated as a cloud of vapour or as fine little particles in the form of aerosols in the air.

To cope up with this, Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) also known as convention or treaty of 1972 was made. Now we will study about this further here in this article.


Biological Weapons Convention or BWC is a convention which effectively interdicts the development, production accession, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons in the countries. BWC was formally known as “ The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction”.(1) This BWC was negotiated by the Conference of the committee on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland. It was opened for signature on 10th April 1972 and came into force on 26th March 1975. It has established a strong norm against the use of Biological Weapons. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the USA serve now as the three Depository Governments of the BWC. The main role played by these Depository Governments is that they carry out various functions such as they carry out various functions like they receive official instruments from the other governments of different countries relating to membership of the BWC.

If we go through, the 1925 Geneva Protocol (2)  banned the use of chemical and biological weapons. It was the first multilateral disarmament treaty which bans an entire category of weapons of mass as biological warfare uses pathogenic agents like bacteria and viruses to infect and kill or incapacitate the whole population. There are major debates over how well they work as weapons, but the risks are very large. The BWC is a key element in the international community's to address Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation and has established a strong norm against biological weapons.

The convention is comparatively short and comprises of only 15 Articles and the full text of Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) (3) can be seen in the Annexure provided. The convention's provisions have been elaborated in precise way by a series of additional agreements and understanding at Review Conferences which have been organized so far every five years. First Review Conference was conducted in 1980.


  • forbids States Parties from developing, producing, stockpiling, or otherwise acquiring biological agents or toxins that have no justification for peaceful or defensive purposes (4)
  • forbids States Parties from developing, producing, stockpiling, or otherwise acquiring equipment to deliver biological agents or toxins for hostile purposes (5)
  • obligates States Parties to destroy or divert to peaceful purposes their existing stocks of prohibited items; (6)
  • forbids States Parties from transferring prohibited items to anyone or otherwise helping in the manufacture or acquisition of biological weapons; (7)
  • protects the rights of States Parties to exchange equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information for peaceful purposes in order to avoid hampering their economic and technological development; (8)
  • commits States Parties to cooperate in solving any problems through consultation and in carrying out any investigation initiated by the UN Security Council; and (9)
  • commits States Parties to provide assistance to others that have been attacked using biological weapons. (10)

These are the things which the Biological Weapons Convention BWC forbids in its documents.


If we go through the history of Biological Weapons Convention we would be able to find more things about. The use of Biological Weapons is not new to the universe. It has been there since the 1300s and it can be seen since 1346.

The use of biological weapons dates back to as early as 1346, when the Mongols catapulted corpses contaminated with plague over the walls of the Crimean city of Kaffa. The legal framework banning both chemical and biological warfare began to develop 500 years later, in the late 19th century. The 1899 Hague Convention 11 with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land declared that it is "especially employ poison or poisoned arms." Nevertheless, chemical weapons (which are quite different than biological weapons) were used extensively during World War I by several countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and France. On a much smaller scale, biological weapons were used during the war by German agents who attempted to infect livestock destined for the Allied forces.

After the war, France proposed at the  Geneva Conference for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms and Ammunition (12) in 1925 that the use of lethal and virulent gases should be banned by a law (a protocol). Poland suggested that bacteriological (biological) weapons also be included. The conference adopted a Convention for the Supervision of the International Trade in Arms, Munitions and Implements of War (13) (which has not entered into force) and, as a separate document, a Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare 14The agreement, known as the Geneva Protocol 15 was signed in Geneva on June 17, 1925. Upon ratification or accession to the Protocol, some States declared that it would cease to be binding on them if their enemies, or the allies of their enemies, failed to respect the prohibitions of the Protocol. In recent years, however, many of the reservations have been withdrawn, especially following the entry into force of the BTWC and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). (16)

Movement towards biological disarmament began in earnest in 1969 when the British presented the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference (ENDC) 17 with a draft convention calling for the elimination of biological warfare. With this proposal, the British were taking a new approach to biological disarmament by separating biological and chemical weapons within an international agreement. The British draft contained a prohibition of the production and acquisition of biological agents in types and quantities that had no justification for peaceful purposes and equipment designed for hostile purposes.

The United Nations adopted a resolution commending the text and the BWC was opened for signature on April 10, 1972. The BWC entered into force two years later, on March 26, 1975, after 22 states had joined (signed and ratified) the Convention.


Everything has its own importance. So is the case with BWC. Biological weapons can be used not only to attack humans, but also to cattle and crops of the universe. The diseases could spread rapidly around the world because of these weapons. Although of natural origin, the 2020 'Corona Virus' or Covid-19 pandemic outbreak started in China and then its spread to other countries including USA, UK, India etc. can widely be seen as showing the lack of preparedness in the global health and humanitarian system to respond to larger scale disease outbreaks like all the countries are facing at an international level. It also sent an alarming message about the dramatic consequences that could be caused through the deliberated release of biological agents or toxins by state or non- state actors. As we can see that people are losing their lives in large numbers due to Covid-19 pandemic and also economic consequences can also be seen.

All states are therefore facing a devastating loss and at risk, and all can benefit from joining the Biological Weapons Convention BWC.

The 21st century has been called as an era or age of technology and biotechnology. Advances in this biotechnology and life sciences are occurring at an accelerating pace. While such developments and changes bring unparalleled benefits while on the other side, they are misused due to the inherent dual use nature of life sciences. Therefore, BWC state parties should pay attention to these new trends in science and technology. As this could be a threat to mankind at larger level. BWC also helps to build capacity to respond to disease outbreak like the present Covid- 19 Pandemic and can assist each other in developing capacities in areas such as disease surveillance, detection and diagnosis, biosafety and biosecurity, education, training, awareness, legal, emergency and other measures.


Last but not the least, it can be concluded that an international level, an organisation is to be constructed and all the countries must join the Biological Weapons Convention (BCW) to cope up with such havoc causing situation in present and future.