Progressive thoughts on “international law”

This court has "awarded" billions to shareholders of Yukos...
This court has “awarded” billions to shareholders of Yukos…

One of the articles that I’ve stumbled upon from the Party members at Quartz recently concerns how Russia may now ignore “international law.” Specifically, Russia’s Parliament adopted a bill (still not signed by President Putin) that would send international court rulings to the Russian Supreme Court where they could be deemed “non-executable” if they contradict the Russian Constitution. This bill came into being after the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay out about €1.9 billion to former shareholders of the defunct Russian oil company Yukos:

The Strasbourg-based court found that Russia had failed to “strike a fair balance” in its treatment of Yukos, once run by former oligarch turned Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and had forced the company to pay excessive fees.

Yukos, once worth $40 billion, was broken up and nationalised a decade ago, with most of its assets eventually handed to Rosneft, an energy giant run by an ally of President Vladimir Putin.

Yukos had argued in the European Court of Human Rights that Russia had unlawfully seized it after imposing bogus taxes and via a sham auction.

The court’s decision goes some way to supporting critics of Putin who blame the Russian leader for riding roughshod over the rule of law for political aims.

It seems that there may be a valid case against the cronyism exhibited by the Russian government. However:

And while the 1.9 billion euros awarded by the ECHR is a fraction of the 38 billion euros which Yukos sought, it hits Russia hard at a time when the country is on the brink of recession and is reeling from tougher sanctions imposed by the West this week over its actions in Ukraine.

Whatever is meant by this word “awarded“? It looks like the Russian government is going to ignore this ruling, just as they do other pieces of paper. I guess that the Russians will get more sanctions against them? Don’t worry though, the fine writers at Quartz and Human Rights Watch point out that they signed another piece of paper, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Obviously this means that the Russian government will do whatever some court or progressive Western leader tells them to do. From the Human Rights Watch article:

Russia is a party to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which prohibits parties from invoking domestic law to justify failure to implement a treaty. So the bill wouldn’t relieve the Russian government of its legal obligations to implement rulings of international human rights bodies established by international treaties. Instead, it would bring much uncertainty and opacity to the domestic legal system, further hinder Russia’s relations with its international partners, and delay justice even further for human rights victims.

Opacity” will be wrought upon the domestic legal system of Russia? In what way? It seems pretty clear to me what the Russian government is going to do – ignore international court rulings that they don’t agree with. This might be hard for a prog to understand, but this is how most of the world outside of the West has and will continue to operate for the foreseeable future. I wonder what progs would do if they treated the Russians like U.S. citizens who don’t pay their “fair share” or Donald Trump supporters?

Simply telling China or Russia to stop doing something that you don’t like isn’t going to work. If you’re not actually willing to go to war over certain things, perhaps it’s just best to let the issue go. Perhaps progressives will say something lazy like “the right side of history” argument. Does anyone remember that time President Obama brought up his “red line” on Syria? Who came out the victor in that? Let’s go to The People’s Cube for some guidance:

How would you caption this photo?

Obama_Putin_5_Capitals 28729





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