Detractor of Falklands people’s rights, Argentina’s candidate to the International Law Court of The Hague
Dr. Marcelo Kohen is an Argentine lawyer who for more than three decades has been living in Switzerland where he is a professor of International Law at the University Institute of International High Studies in Geneva, He is also currently secretary of the prestigious International Law Institute created in 1843.
Dr Kohen is also Argentina’s candidate for a bench at the United Nations International Court of Law in The Hague which is focused in solving legal controversies among countries and responding to consultations on different legal issues.
Dr. Kohen was involved in the Argentine litigation with Uruguay regarding pulp mills and when the Argentine Navy’s school tall ship, Libertad was immobilized in Ghana pending a law suit from Argentine bonds private holders. Following the death of one of the fifteen members, UN The Hague international court has decided to call an early election next 4 November and Dr. Kohen was appointed by Argentina to the Arbitrage Standing Court.
In a long interview with an Argentine daily Dr. Kohen points out to the advances of International Law, a majority of compliances, rulings helping to clear grey areas, such as regarding environmental aspects, the use of force and the right to self determination. He is also a strong supporter of Latin American magistrates both in the The Hague and the Criminal Court of Rome, since if you look at a South American map from the early 1800th is has not changed much, but if you try the same with the Europe map, what a surprise and how many modifications.
However from his privileged position Dr. Kohen has been a formidable detractor of the Falkland Islands sovereignty, its right to self determination and to decide on its future, supports the Argentine position that Falklanders are an implanted population, and thus non entitled to decide on their political and economic future. History and geography are on the side of Argentina, and on occasions has sent letters which are published in Penguin News.,
As can be expected from an Argentine media the interviewer’s final question to Dr. Kohen refers directly to the Falklands.
I can’t end the interview without asking you about the Malvinas Cause, an issue that has been very much studied and in depth. We commonly say that Argentina has the right on its side, but the United Kingdom holds the Islands. From the International Law point of view, is there anything new that can be used to advance in the Malvinas Cause?
Dr Kohen explains that analyzing the legal situation, when you implement International Law from the 19th, 20th and 21st century, the conclusion is the same. From a legal point of view I believe there is not much more to add. In this Cause, all has been analyzed. It’s an issue that has been studied since 1833, or even before. Then comes the question about the tools. In the international system there are different methods to peacefully solve controversies. Negotiations is one, but there are others also, The UN General Assembly requested the Secretary General to implement a good offices process before UK, but the Secretary General to advance needs both sides to respond positively. And if one side is not interested , the Secretary General cannot advance. But there is also mediation, conciliation and arbitrage.
My personal opinion is that Argentina must not discard any of these available paths. In all conflicts, the best is to reach a negotiated settlement. In a negotiation you can take into account different aspects, including some beyond legal. But if you go to a Court the issue becomes entirely legal procedure. The Court cannot make political deals nor it is its responsibility. Anyhow, we must not discard any of the existing and available tools