Why A Trade Ban Is Mandatory


Independent Senator Frances Black speaks in the Seanad on the Control of Economic Activities (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 last January;  Lawyers John ReynoldTom Moerenhout

On July 11, The Seanad will vote on Frances Black’s proposed legislation to prohibit trade with settlements in occupied territories.

The Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018 does not mention Israel and the Palestinian territories but will make it an offence “for a person to import or attempt to import settlement goods”.

Ahead of this, a legal opinion – drafted by Tom Moerenhout, of the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and John Reynolds, of Maynooth University – shows why “it is not just possible but compulsory” for Ireland to do this under international law.

From Tom and John’s summary (full opinion with footnotes at link below):

International law mandates a prohibition on the importation of goods and services coming from settlements in occupied territories, and the exportation of goods and services to settlements in occupied territories.

Ireland would fulfil its obligation under international law by withholding from trade with settlements.

This trade prohibition is not a sanction. It is a rectification of an error in international economic relations between the State of Ireland and the State of Israel.

Trade with settlement enterprises that primarily benefits the economy of the occupying power has never been allowed under international law. The same applies to the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara

The obligation to withhold from trading with settlements arises from the Duties of Non-recognition and Non-assistance, which are activated because of the violation of peremptory norms of international law (jus cogens) by Israel in its settlement activity.

In particular: the obstruction of the right to self-determination, the acquisition of territory by the use of force, the violation of fundamental norms of international humanitarian law and the application of Apartheid;

This mandate to withhold from trading with settlements applies, at the same time, to the European Union as a whole and all of its Member States individually.

Member states do not only have the right, but the obligation to act on their own account. Ireland can only be in accordance with its obligations under international law if it withholds from trade with settlements

Prohibiting settlement trade does not constitute a trade measure and is not in violation of the exclusive competence for common commercial policy of the European Commission.

This measure is taken in response to obligations laid down in the International Law Commission Articles on State Responsibility. These obligations are customary, self-executing and of an erga omnes status. This means they do not require United Nations Security Council authorisation and they apply immediately to individual states.

EU law invites member states to file a complaint before the Court of Justice of the European Union when the European Commission or other institutions of the Union fail to act in accordance with the EU treaties, which incorporate international law.

The EU in its Regulation on Imports also allows Member States to deviate from the Common Commercial Policy for reasons of public morality.

Prohibiting trade with settlements does not violate World Trade Law. Article XXVI.5.(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), including its negotiation history, confirms that GATT does not apply to illegal settlements….

Legal Obligations With Respect To” Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018

Screenshot: Oireachtas.ie

28 thoughts on “Why A Trade Ban Is Mandatory

  1. The person who would proofread Hitler's speeches was the first grammar nazi

    You forgot the ‘and’ in
    ‘Lawyers John ReynoldTom Moerenhout’

  2. phil

    seems reasonable, and non violent , and before the whataboutery starts , one pariah state at a time ….

      1. Friscondo

        The Crimean people voted to cede from Ukraine. Vast
        majority are ethnic Russians. They were increasingly uncomfortable in a right wing fascist leaning Ukraine, whole elected president was deposed in a CIA financed coup. The region was given to Ukraine by a drunken Stalin one night. This work by Frances Black is moderate and proportionate. The Israeli embassy are getting their comments ready early today.

        1. bennny

          By the time we are finished we will of destroyed every market outside of Europe

        2. ReproBertie

          “They were increasingly uncomfortable in a right wing fascist leaning Ukraine” which didn’t actually exist and was a fictional creation of a campaign on Russian news outlets and social media.

          1. Friscondo

            TV screens filled with
            NeoNazis every day of the “Maidan Revolution”, where is your evidence? The incumbent was corrupt, but democratically elected. We had Haughey, don’t think we’d appreciate the CIA coming in to sort it out for us. Ukrainian nationalism is riddled with antisemitism and racism. Just like Croatia. So careful who you cheer on.

          2. bennny

            Oh Bertie you relay have been brainwashed
            For months the west were stirring it up and the coup went ahead
            The coup were headed by some very nasty neo Nazi factions
            I watched new on RToday and the rest of the channels and the Rtoday news were more plausible

          3. ReproBertie

            “Oh Bertie you relay have been brainwashed”
            “I watched new on RToday and the rest of the channels and the Rtoday news were more plausible”

      2. bennny

        How about the murder and the suppression of the LGBT community in Gaza and west bank
        Starting trade wars is a pretty stupid idea

        1. Friscondo

          Not too many LGBT in Utra Orthodox West Jerusalem, and doubt their survival beyond a day! Or in the ultra nationalist settlements in West Bank. Tel Aviv does not reflect raving lunatic nationalist Israel.

          1. denny

            Quite a few though the community is quieter than Tel Aviv
            Mind you east Jerusalem hardly a soul
            West bank same and Gaza plenty hung shot stabbed killed
            I suppose just like Ireland the LGBT community mainly head for the bright lights

  3. AssPants

    Frances Black signer songwriter and Senator for Industrial and Commercial panel…… it’s just so amazing how TD’s, Senators etc employ themselves within roles they know fubb’n nothing about.

    Well done Oireachtas really looking out for the ordinary folk in Ireland. Isn’t that why this is such an important bill for the people of Ireland, because there are no local issues which demand immediate attention.

    1. bennny

      Keep eating the hummus
      The organisation that hates homosexuals only slightly less than jews

  4. shitferbrains

    Before joining as an OIES-Saudi Aramco fellow, Tom was a visiting research fellow at Columbia University’s Political Science Department and Center for Global Energy Policy.

  5. Ahmed Salem Amr Khaddad

    The Western Sahara territory was officially occupied from 1912 till 1975. Since then, the WS community has been dealing with the local affairs. You should talk to the Moroccan Ambassador to Ireland. He is Saharawi from the WS territory. He is the man to talk with to know more about the absurd WS issue opposing Morocco to algeria military dictature since 1975. And please, never mention Wikipedia articles on WS again. They are all FAKE & biased. The Non Point of View Wikipedia policy is not respected in any of the articles as they have been written by pro-algeria contributors. Thanks

    Ahmed Salem Amr Khaddad
    Western Saharawi

  6. Deimos

    So a trade ban on Northern Ireland next, then obviously Australia, NZ, USA. All occupied by white, non native settlers who displaced indigenous peoples. Or maybe not as these occupations aren’t by THE JEWS.

    As usual anti semitism is alive and thriving in my favourite republic. The Christian Brothers would be so proud.

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