Journal of International Law an International Relations


Journal of International Law and International Relations 2006 — N 2


International Law

Human Rights

Affirmative Action: Concept, Content, Evolution — Ludmila Kamenkova, Ludmila Murashko

Refugee and Statelessness Issues

The Procedure for Recognition as a Refugee in the Republic of Belarus — Tatiana Mayorova

Contemporary Issues of Nationality, Statelessness and Refugee Phenomenon in Relation to State Succession — Tatiana Mikhaliova

International Economic Law

The Current State of the Legislative Base for Exhibition and Fair Activities in the Republic of Belarus — Aleksandr Sokolovski

Theoretical Issues

Norms of "Soft" Law: Concept and Features — Olga Kashlach

Young Scholars Forum

Towards Some Problems of Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings in Modern Migration Processes — Alexey Mironov

International Relations

Expert Support of Foreign Policy Decisions — Vladimir Ulakhovich

Baltic Regionalism Emergence — Andrey Volodkin

The Yugoslav-Albanian Relations in the USSR Foreign Policy in 1945—1948 — Yury Pavlovets

The Holy Roman Empire in the Foreign Policy of Burgundy in 1419—1467 — Dmitry Cherkasov

Young Scholars Forum

The Policy of Multiculturalism as the Policy to Integrate Immigrants into the National Social State — Iliya Korogodov

Some Aspects of the Refugee Problem Solution in the XXth Century — Arseny Anisimovich

Documents and Materials

Country of Origin Information in the Context of Refugee Status Determination (the Materials of the International Seminar from May 18—19,  2006) — Yury Morgun (only russian)

Judicial and Public Prosecutor Practice on Refugee Cases (the Materials of the International Seminar from June 15,  2006) — Yury Morgun (only russian)

The 2006 Refugee World Day in Belarus — Yury Morgun

International Economic Relations

The Role of Trade and Economic Regulations between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union Countries in Export Potential Development — Elena Kovshar

Factors of Belarusian Economy Competitiveness Growth in Modern Conditions: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Programme Documents — Dmitry Shirokanov

Selection of Institutional Forms of Companies’ Expansion to Foreign Markets — Dmitry Kalinin


English Summaries

«Affirmative Action: Concept, Content, Evolution» (Ludmila Kamenkova, Ludmila Murashko)

The topic of the article is the affirmative action analyzed as a category new for national lawyers. It is analyzed both in the aspect of the formation of the state policy strategy and in the aspect of adoption of foreign experience for its possible application in the Republic of Belarus. The authors do not merely make a general study of legislation; going beyond it they offer answers to the questions posed before legal studies today, such as: who will win in the result of the replacement of the policy of equal opportunities by the policy of affirmative action (i. e. of start advantages)? Where do the underwater rocks lie in implementing such policy to realize civil rights and freedoms? What results have been achieved by the application of the policy in the US, where it came from, and in Europe? What is the legislative practice and the mechanisms to ensure equal opportunities?

«The Procedure for Recognition as a Refugee in the Republic of Belarus» (Tatiana Mayorova)

The article presents informational material on the procedure for recognition as a refugee in the Republic of Belarus. It gives the main legal documents, regulating the relations in the sphere of forced migration. It also covers the stages of the procedure for recognition as a refugee, reception mechanisms, examination and taking decisions on applications.

«Contemporary Issues of Nationality, Statelessness and Refugee Phenomenon in Relation to State Succession» (Tatiana Mikhaliova)

In the situation of dissolution of a state millions of people become stateless persons, forced migrants and refugees. The article in its first part makes an attempt to answer the questions: «in what way should the states concerned act in granting nationality», «why are the states concerned obliged to avoid situations of statelessness», «how are the issues of nationality, statelessness and refugees interrelated and interdependent in the situation of dissolution of states». The interaction of the relevant issues and preventive character of effective granting of nationality as well as avoidance of statelessness in a situation of state succession in relation to refugee phenomenon is taken into consideration. The second part of the article studies the regulation of the issues concerned in international instruments. The article concludes with exploration of the contemporary concepts of state succession with regard to human right treaties, including the treaties in the field of refugees, statelessness and nationality.

«The Current State of the Legislative Base for Exhibition and Fair Activities in the Republic of Belarus» (Aleksandr Sokolovski)

Exhibition and fair industry has long become one of the major instruments of development of the world industry, a certain ground for testing the quality of goods and services.

Unlike some other countries, Belarus does not have a single law that regulates all aspects of the exhibition and fair business.

The government’s decree N 890 dated July 22, 2004 has so far been the major legislative act that directly establishes the procedure of planning, preparing and holding of all kinds of exhibitions and fairs in Belarus and abroad, defines the rights, duties and responsibility of actors in this sphere of activity.

However, a number of factors relating to fairs and exhibitions continue being unregulated. Moreover, the mechanism of implementation by Belarus of its international obligations arising from multilateral treaties to which the country has been a party, particularly in the field of transit of goods including exhibition items, has not been fully enacted.

A part of the article deals with proposals aimed at upgrading the current legislative fundamentals in this field. A suggestion has been made for the Republic of Belarus to accede to the Kyoto International Convention on the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures. Ultimately, the author claims, the country needs a legislative act of comprehensive nature intended to outline the range of rights and obligations for exhibition and fair’s organizers and participants.

«Norms of "Soft" Law: Concept and Features» (Olga Kashlach)

The article explores the concept and qualitative features of «soft» law. On the basis of the study the author came to the following conclusions:

1. There is no single approach to understanding of «soft» law in the international legal doctrine. Conditionally, three concepts of «soft» law definition can be singled out: certain normative corpus or documents with such norms; non-obligatory rules; and norms where certain hard law features are absent. One could also identify the concept of rejection of «soft» law.

2. A comparative analysis of «soft» law and «hard» international legal norms should be carried out to better understand the nature of «soft» law norms.

3. «Soft» law norms are contained in written normative sources and are the result of active norm-making activities of states and other international law subjects.

4. «Soft» law norms have a general nature as a category of social norms.

5. A definite form is a significant feature of an international legal norm. «Soft» law norms do not provide distinct fixed rights and obligations for international law subjects due to either form of their fixing or its content; i. e. they do not have formal definition.

6. «Hard» legal norms and «soft» law norms are connected with the same process — coordination of the will of states or other subjects of international law. It means that states during the coordination of their wills cannot or do not want to bind themselves with norms of «hard» law but fix their concorded will as «soft» law norms. The latter are a regulator of international relations but in time may become a starting point for completion of the process of will coordination, i. e. to develop norms of «hard» international law.

«Towards Some Problems of Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings in Modern Migration Processes» (Alexey Mironov)     

The article reviews the main aspects of combating trafficking in human beings within the growing processes of developing migration flows in the world community.

The author reveals the causes and conditions promoting this negative social phenomenon, such as:

— globalization of economy and growing labour mobility;

— demand for private service in the developed countries;

— high unemployment rate among women as well as the increasing number of internet users. The internet is not legally regulated and is often put to criminal use.

The article treats the concept and main characteristics of the phenomenon of trafficking in human beings, studies the evolution of the international legal base aimed at combatting trafficking in human beings in all manifestations.

Special attention is given in the article to the issues of combatting trafficking in human beings in the Republic of Belarus.

The main directions of reinforcing the effectiveness of combatting trafficking in human beings are seen by the author in the following:

— providing protection for the victims and improving rehabilitation systems;

— monitoring of the internet in order to counteract trafficking in human beings;

— developing special education programmes at universities and special law enforcement services training establishments.

«Expert Support of Foreign Policy Decisions» (Vladimir Ulakhovich)

Dynamics of the international relations causes the necessity of establishment of mechanisms of preparation, acceptance and promotion of decisions on issues of the international activity of the states with expert support.

The most known methods of the study of foreign policy decisions are comparative, systemic, procedural techniques and a method of problem structurization. Active application of research results indicates the developing interrelation between practice and scientific knowledge. A problem there is getting the experts’ opinion across to the persons responsible for the decision-making process. Research structures, target scientific groups («think tanks»), which first appeared in the USA about a hundred years ago, promote the overcoming of the barrier. The next generation of «think tanks» arose after the Second World War. Involving scientific thinking in development of political and state strategy is becoming more large-scale. In the 1970s there came a new generation of expert structures with ampler opportunities and functions. The end of the Cold war gave a new impulse to their development.

«Think tanks» play an important role in informal diplomacy, development and discussion of decisions. They generate ideas, promote professional growth of politicians, officials and experts, raise citizens’ awareness. The basic niche for their action is the space between the academic world and the authority structures.

The most general tendencies of the evolution of «think tanks» are quantitative growth, convergence with political and state structures, thematic specialization and interdisciplinary approach, an efficient format of product and the establishment of expert networks.

«Baltic Regionalism Emergence» (Andrey Volodkin)

The concept of the Baltic Sea region emerged in the interwar period when several attempts to create a Baltic regional union were made. After World War II it was abandoned for several decades, as the eastern and western shores of the Baltic Sea were divided by the «iron curtain». But important prerequisites for the revival of Baltic regionalism developed at that time that influenced greatly the modern concept of Baltic regional co-operation. The first of these factors was regional co-operation of Nordic countries, the second — European integration and, in particular, German integration model based on non-institutional cross-border networking on the level of «low politics». This model was very similar to the Nordic co-operation scheme. So they both defined the main principles and working mechanisms of region-building in the Baltic Sea area.

The changes in the North of Europe after the end of the Cold war, reflecting a great shift in geopolitical priorities of the countries situated around the Baltic Sea, created favorable conditions for the beginning of Baltic regional co-operation. The idea of establishing a new zone of intense cross-border co-operation in North-Eastern Europe was supported by all the states of the region and the European Community (later the European Union) as well. So «the Baltic project» started on the turn of the 1980s—1990s. Its main goal is to create in the region a functional network of economic, cultural and political contacts on the level of «low politics».

Besides, it should be noted that all the countries of the region, except for Russia, do not consider Baltic regionalism and European integration as two alternative ways of its development, but rather as processes that complement each other. And after the last EU enlargement the connections between these two processes have become even closer.

«The Yugoslav-Albanian Relations in the USSR Foreign Policy in 1945—1948» (Yury Pavlovets)     

The article gives insight into the peculiarities of the relations between the states of Yugoslavia and Albania during the period of emergence of the Soviet bloc in Eastern and Southern Eastern Europe and into the role of these states in the USSR foreign policy in the first post-war years. The inclusion of Yugoslavia and Albania into the USSR’s sphere of influence was accompanied by considerable Soviet economic aid to these Balkan countries. But excessive independence of the Yugoslavia leadership in pursuing their foreign political interests led to the Soviet-Yugoslav conflict in 1948. The severing of relations between the USSR and Albania, on the one hand and the USSR and Yugoslavia, on the other resulted in the change of the USSR foreign policy. The USSR established strict control over the foreign political activities of all countries of popular democracies, while Yugoslavia stayed for some time outside the Soviet sphere of influence.

«The Holy Roman Empire in the Foreign Policy of Burgundy in 1419—1467» (Dmitry Cherkasov)

The article reviews the relations between Burdundy and the duchies of the Holy Roman Empire during the rule of Philippe the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1419—1467). His policy was aimed at keeping Burgundy’s new territories within the empire and creation of an independent state on their basis.

Burgundy-the Empire relations can be divided into two main periods: 1) 1419—1438 — the rule of Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, when the relations between Burgundy and the Empire were aggravated by the struggle for influence in the Netherlands, 2) 1440—1467 — the rule of Emperor Friedrich III von Habsburg when France’s growth of power led to an rapprochement between Burgundy and the Empire.

Significant aspects of the foreign policy of Burgundy in the Empire were the conquest of Luxembourg and the struggle for Lorraine. Concerning the Duchy of Luxembourg, an important link between Burgundy territories, Philippe the Good used dynastic ties, financial resources and direct military intervention. As a result, Luxembourg became a part of the Burgundy state in 1467. Control over the Duchy of Lorraine was also very important, since it involved trade roots from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe. Here the dynastic conflict between the two branches of Lorraine’s House was used. Burgundy won having supported a weaker side, thus gaining dominance in this region for a long period.

At the same time, an attempt to establish a state separate from Burgundy within the Holy Roman Empire failed, mainly, due to its fear of excessive power of Burgundy in the western part of the Empire.

«The Policy of Multiculturalism as the Policy to Integrate Immigrants into the National Social State» (Iliya Korogodov)     

The problem of immigrants integration into modern national social state is caused by the increase of the share of immigrants in the receiving community which makes the latter multicultural and weakens the social function of the state, which is called upon to provide immigrants integration into social systems. The response to these challenges is provided by multiculturalism both as an ideology and as a policy. Acceptance of cultural pluralism is bound to reduce the chances of cultural conflicts and to compensate the cuts in state social benefits by the declaration of the equality of cultures and the necessity of tolerant and respectful attitude to what is called «alien». The policy of multiculturalism aims at promoting immigrants integration into the national social state (affirmative action, adaptation programmes, minority cultures support). It really helps to eliminate the possibility of people’s exclusion from social systems on the basis of their culture. The actual integration of an immigrant into social life is left at the person’s discretion. This is determined by the weakening of the state function of social protection and benefits. At present, the policy of multiculturalism allows to create the necessary prerequisites and conditions for the effective integration of the immigrant into the national social state.

«Some Aspects of the Refugee Problem Solution in the XXth Century» (Arseny Anisimovich)     

The article presents a short review of the history of the refugee problem solution worldwide. The author traces the evolution of the international bodies in this area. The first step on this road came to be the establishment of the High Commissioner for Refugees within the League of Nations. It was succeeded by such offices as the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, International Refugee Organization and finally the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The author also considers such fundamental international legal instruments as the UNHCR Charter, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol, as well as some regional agreements. The current data on refugees is also presented.

«The 2006 Refugee World Day in Belarus» (Yury Morgun)     

The article emphasizes the importance of the refugee problem in recognition of which the UN General Assembly took a resolution to observe June 20 annually as the World Refugee Day. It is not a holiday but a reminder for the world community to pay attention to refugees’ problems. 2006 saw the sixth time the World Refugee Day was observed. The article gives a short review of the events to observe this Day in Belarus, such as: a contest of student and postgraduate studies on the issues of refugees, statelessness, migration and tolerance a contest of children’s pictures, and that of creative works «Belarus, Accept Me», the gala-concert and awarding prizes to the winners of the contests, a festival of films about refugees, a press-conference at the National Press Centre. All these events aim at promoting refugee protection, fostering the national system of refugee protection in Belarus.

«The Role of Trade and Economic Regulations between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union Countries in Export Potential Development» (Elena Kovshar)

The issues of trade-economic regulations between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union countries become a most important theme in Belarusian trade relations after the accession of new members to the European Union.

Expansion of cooperation with the new members of the European Union is the main direction of the international trade policy of Belarusian government.

All positive and negative factors of new issues of economic cooperation after the EU enlargement must be taken into consideration. They comprise administrative complexity, frequent changes in tax law, variations in customs tariff and payments, antidumping monitoring system, etc. These are the main goals for export potential development.

«Factors of Belarusian Economy Competitiveness Growth in Modern Conditions: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches in Programme Documents» (Dmitry Shirokanov)     

The article explores theoretical and methodological approaches used in important state documents defining strategic ways of social and economic development of Belarus: the National Strategy of Sustainable Development of the Republic of Belarus up to 2020 and the Programme of Restructuring and Competitiveness Growth of Belarusian Economy.

Having analyzed the relevant literature by national and foreign scientists in the field of competitiveness raising, the author comes to a conclusion that a country’s competitiveness can not be separated from competitiveness on corporate and branch levels. It is the competitiveness of separate branches that provides competitiveness of national economy on global market. The most significant role in the development and maintaining of competitive advantages is played by innovations.

These conclusions need to be taken into account while shaping the state economic policy in the Republic of Belarus. Modern times competitiveness involves not macroeconomic factors only but also the quality of labour force. A high level of education as an important driving force of national economy should be widely used in the process of transition of Belarusian economy to innovational policy and growth of its competitiveness.

«Selection of Institutional Forms of Companies’ Expansion to Foreign Markets» (Dmitry Kalinin)

Special topicality is achieved today by the prospects of internationalization of business economic activity of Belarusian companies in modern conditions of increasing globalization of the world economy. Besides, one of the main factors of the companies’ success lies in selection of institutional forms of expansion into foreign markets. In this connection, the aim of the article is revealing of the decision-making process concerning the selection of institutional forms of expansion to foreign markets.

The article reviews the influence of various factors on decision-making regarding forms of expansion, reveals the nature of the comparative analysis of the inner potential of a company with specific characteristics of target markets. Comparative analysis provides a clearer description of the process of selection of institutional forms of expansion to foreign markets from the psychological distance, investment and technology aspects. Besides, the author offers recommendations on selection of institutional forms of expansion of Belarusian companies on various foreign markets with regard to comparative differences in their various positions.

This publication was prepared in the framework of EU TACIS — UNHCR project “Strengthening the National Asylum System in the Republic of Belarus”

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