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  1. leszkoss's Avatar
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    #1

    Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    I kindly ask the learned teachers on this forum to evaluate this essay and correct any mistakes and suggest any improvements to my writing. Don't worry, it has already been submitted, so the corrections that I am requesting will be post factum.


    Hard power versus naivety and delusion. Whose agenda will prevail in the 21st century?

    The purpose of this essay is to evaluate the role of international courts and tribunals in The Hague and their prospective influence that the existence of these institutions may have on international order and their ability to promote and facilitate peace and stability in the world. This essay also aims to evaluate the effectiveness of these courts and questions their relevance and effectiveness in enforcing rulings made by these courts. I will make particular reference to the recent case of Philippines v. China heard by the Permanent Court of Arbitration based at Hague.

    To question the effectiveness of international courts and tribunals in The Hague, I will refer to the fairly recent dispute between Philippines and China, an arbitration case heard by Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration. Even though the court decided in Philippines’ favour on most questions, Chinese authorities blatantly rejected the ruling1. The Chinese president Xi Jinping stated that “China’s ‘territorial sovereignty and marine rights’ in the seas will not be affected”2. According to the Guardian’s article, Xi Jinping, insisted China was still “committed to resolving disputes” with its neighbours. So China arbitrarily decided not to comply with the judgment and continue its expansion in the sea. This case demonstrates that in cases when there is a massive disproportion between the parties concerned in terms of their economic, military or generally political status, the stronger state can ignore the court’s ruling if it is contrary to their geopolitical strategy or simply because the international courts have no means to enforce their rulings.

    I am inclined to say that the sheer existence of such courts and tribunals and their increased significance, does not in fact offer any measure of safety and security, especially for so-called minor states or vulnerable countries. The existence of the court and its powers are meaningless when faced with hard-power politics exercised by means of military aggression, as in the case of Russian invasion in Georgia and Ukraine. The security of small and weak states like the Baltic nations depends on their membership in the structures of NATO, the backbone of which is the USA and its military power. In a case of an open aggression or hostile military operations similar to those that took place in Ukraine, the idea that the states of Latvia or Estonia would turn to any international court or tribunal seeking ‘protection’ would appear to be a desperate ‘cry for help’, but could not provide any measures that could effectively divert the course of action. The Baltic states appear to be protected because they are signatories to NATO, and their capability to protect their sovereignty and their borders depends on the political will of the Alliance’s key member, the Unites States and its military might.

    The development of the system of international courts and tribunals seems to be the continuation realisation of the utopian and tentative aspirations underlying the Hague ‘Peace Conferences’, where ‘it all began’, as articulated by historian Arthur Eyffinger3. So far, as far as I have gathered from the lectures, the ICJ provided rulings in cases of relatively minor importance like the dispute over whaling. I am of the opinion that the role of international courts and tribunals in The Hague will remain illusory and rather ornamental.

    1. http://thediplomat.com/2016/07/inter...uth-china-sea/
    2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-against-china
    3. Arthur Eyffinger, A Highly Critical Moment: Role and Record of the 1907 Hague Peace Conference. Netherlands International Law Review, 54, p 198
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 18-Jan-2017 at 21:51. Reason: Enlarged font to make post readable

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    it has already been submitted
    Who has it been submitted to?

  3. leszkoss's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Who has it been submitted to?
    No one. I am doing a MOOC on international law, and the task was to write an essay on a given topic. I submitted my essay on the website, to be reviewed by other peers.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    For those who didn't know, an MOOC is a "Massive Open Online Course".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    It's unnecessarily wordy. Have you had the feedback from your peers yet?

  6. leszkoss's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    It's unnecessarily wordy. Have you had the feedback from your peers yet?
    What do you mean by unnecessary wordy?

    Yes, one classmate left feedback in a form of choosing a point from a scale in respect to a particular feature of the essay, like Responsiveness to essay question, Structure, Quality of arguments or Use of language, format and presentation.

    For example,

    "Does the essay respond to the question by discussing the future of international courts and tribunals in The Hague by reference to either one institution or one theme?

    5 pts - The essay provides an excellent response to the question posed by pursuing an original or innovative approach to the subject."

    et cetera

    There were no comments left below my essay, which was what I expected, and no one else has reviewed my essay yet.

    I think my essay is rather poor when compared to those that other participants submitted, which to me seemed very academic and convoluted, and are much longer than mine.

    Last edited by leszkoss; 19-Jan-2017 at 16:31.

  7. teechar's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    What do you mean by unnecessarily wordy?
    See below.

    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    Yes, one classmate left feedback in a form of choosing a point from a scale in respect to a particular feature of the essay, like Responsiveness to essay question, Structure, Quality of arguments or Use of language, format and presentation.
    Wordy.

    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    Yes, one classmate left feedback in a form of choosing a point from a scale in respect to a particular feature of the essay, like rated it based on the following criteria: Responsiveness relevance to essay question, structure, quality of arguments or use of language, format and presentation.
    Not wordy.


    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    I think my essay is rather poor when compared to those that others participants submitted which to me seemed very academic and convoluted, and are were much longer than mine.
    That's a common trap many students, unfortunately, fall into. A well-written essay should not be convoluted, wordy or unnecessarily complicated. All that does is frustrate the reader/teacher and lower the potential score for the essay.

    I suspect the reason the other students' essays were longer than yours was perhaps because they'd done more background research and, thus, had more substance to work with.

  8. leszkoss's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Thank you for the advice. I get your point now. I also did some research on "wordy essays" on google and found a lot of advice on how to avoid unnecessary wordiness. I will try to edit my essay accordingly and make it more concise and less wordy.

  9. teechar's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by leszkoss View Post
    I will try to edit my essay accordingly and make it more concise and less wordy.
    Great! Do that and post it again. Regarding the length, were you not given a word limit?

  10. leszkoss's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Hard power versus naivety and delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Great! Do that and post it again. Regarding the length, were you not given a word limit?

    The essay should have been between 1200 and 1500 words, so my essay was way below that (about 500 words). There were some essays posted that met this criterion, and as i mentioned before, were very academic and convoluted. The were also others posted that were even shorter than mine and had only one paragraph. I admit that my essay definitely lacked in substance. I did not really put much effort into writing it. On thing that I realise is that I have to develop the skill of academic essay writing, since I am considering studying for a degree. At the moment I simply do not have that ability and this is something that I have to work on.

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