by Max Barry

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by The Government Department of European WA Office. . 102 reads.

WA Office | Marine Protection Act


WA Office Opinion
Marine Protection Act

Marine Protection Act is insufficiently clear for us to support.

First, the legislation uses a committee throughout to establish guidelines, and employs the word “reasonable” too frequently, both resulting in a lack of clarity. Committees in the World Assembly can be helpful legislative tools, but they also necessarily make it difficult to establish a proposal’s precise effect. The specific regulations the committee is tasked to produce in section 2 are entirely unknowable; nor are the guidelines explicitly enforced on member nations. This criticism is in fact identical to the argument we made against the author's previous piece of legislation: "GMO International Trade Accord".

We do not feel that all usage of committees in this sort should be frowned upon; rather, that entire resolutions should not fundamentally rely on inherently unknowable pieces of secondary or delegated legislation. Resolutions should be composed of clear mandates with some help of committees rather than unclear and unknowable committees only loosely linked to member nation mandates.

Second, the ability for the World Assembly to enforce its regulations in international waters is currently very limited. The proposal does not explicitly enjoin member nations to follow regulations. However, operating under the assumption that it does, it does not also explicitly enjoin non-member nations from taking prohibited actions in marine sanctuaries. And even if it did, there currently cannot be an effective enforcement mechanism to force compliance on non-member nations due to the provisions of GA 2 "Rights and Duties of WA States". Although member nations could claim extraterritorial jurisdiction, we do not believe that the Assembly writ large should encourage extra-legal self-help measures of this sort, especially when possibly affecting disputed territory.

Overall, it is our opinion that the proposal at vote is too unclear as to what policies are to be implemented. Therefore, we recommend a vote against the resolution.

Primary author(s): Imperium Anglorum.


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