India must be aware of emerging international law: CJI

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India T.S.Thakur on Saturday said in the ever-shrinking world “we must be aware of the international law” and deal with the emerging scenarios.
“We must be aware of what is happening in the world, prepare for it with an ability to deal with them,” the Chief Justice said in his inaugural address at a seminar on ‘Principles of The Engagement of Domestic Courts with International Law’ held here.
The seminar was organised by the regional chapter of the International Law Association.
Thakur said in the globalised world political borders may still have some relevance but the economic borders have become irrelevant.
The speed and dimension with which international laws were emerging and shaping, they have gone beyond the comprehension of any nation, he said.
Referring to the conflict of jurisdiction of different countries, the Chief Justice said decisions of the courts in one country would lose their efficacy unless the regimes in other countries respected them.
However, he said the duty of the Indian State to follow or conform to the international law has to be read harmoniously with the provision of the Constitution and the prevailing laws.
Giving an example, Thakur said the order of the child’s custody in favour of an NRI father could not be mechanically enforced by the Indian courts.
“US courts have a different approach. Can Indian courts ignore to a situation where the mother of a child was not represented in the US court and was incapable of doing so on account of paucity of means,” the Chief Justice said, pointing out that in such a situation welfare of the child would weigh with the Indian court.
He said the Indian courts would not be guided by Hague (Child) Abduction Convention that provides for an expeditious return of the child abducted by a parent and taken to another country.
Referring to the areas like ocean, space, refugee crisis and environment where international law has an important role to play, the Chief Justice said emerging economies including India could not be penalised for the ‘greenhouse effect’.
It is the developed countries like America that have been emitting carbon, contributing to greenhouse effect. They must pay under the principle of polluter pays, Thakur said.
“If you have an international law that polluter pays, then then those who have polluted must pay,” he said. (IANS)

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