The Arab League. A comparative examination of voting mechanisms: Exploration of the unanimity rule of the Arab League's regulations and how the rule affects the organization's security function
This study in International Public Law examines the impact of the League of Arab States (LAS), in the context of the legal norms of the new international order. The study analyzes the weakening influence of the League in the international political system, regarding issues of territorial sovereignty and integrity, human rights, and Arab nationalism and solidarity. It is the argument of this study that the Arab League today lacks a strong role in the implementation and enforcement of international law. This lack of influence is primarily due to its internal divisions and members' disputes regarding the norms and standards of law. While the League has proposed conventions and issued declarations modeled on the United Nation's international legal forms, it is unable to implement them internally (on issues of human rights and territorial integrity) or externally (the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Occupied Territories, Iraq-Kuwait conflict, and the US invasion of Iraq). The study draws upon published documents related to the Arab League, the UN Security Council and the African Union, to conduct an examination and comparison of the League's voting mechanisms with these other organizations. The research shows that, while the League's unanimity clause in its voting system bears primary responsibility for the League's perceived ineffectiveness in the implementing and enforcing of international law in the Middle East, these international norms of law and diplomacy are ultimately grounded in political, economic and military realities, rather than a strict adherence to statutes, treaties or resolutions. Specifically, an examination of the relevant literature shows that the League's inability to influence international norms on the Palestine question and Iraq is actually part of a larger crisis in international law and the application of such laws and norms in a way that is not even-handed.