In its judgment of 10 December 2015 (Case T-512/12), the General Court of the European Union (GC) annulled Council Decision 2012/497/EU, in so far as it approved the application to the territory of Western Sahara of an Agreement between the EU and Morocco concerning reciprocal liberalisation measures on agricultural, processed agricultural and fisheries products. This paper discusses some of the conclusions reached by the GC on the merits, focusing in particular on the role that rules of international law played for the solution of the case. The paper contests the decision of the GC to characterize Morocco as the de facto administering Power of Western Sahara, rejecting Polisario’s claim for application of the law of belligerent occupation. Moreover the author does not share the view of the GC as to the content of the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources. In her opinion, this principle requires that any activity involving the exploitation of natural resources of a Non-Self-Governing Territory be conducted in consultation with the local National Liberation Movement. In this perspective, the very fact that Polisario was not involved in the negotiation of the Agreement would imply a violation of international law, were the Agreement to concern also products originating from Western Sahara. In the author’s view, however, given that the Agreement does not expressly apply to the territory of Western Sahara, the GC should have opted for a restrictive interpretation of its scope, confining it to the internationally recognised territory of Morocco. The principle of self-determination, prevents an administering or occupying Power from changing the territorial status of a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and requires the international community to refrain from any action that might be interpreted as a recognition of such a change.
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|Titolo:||C'è un giudice per il Sahara occidentale?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista|