It gives us great pleasure to present the 1st Issue of the RSIL Law Review. The issue contains eight articles and one student note. All nine pieces are exemplary in their originality and sophistication of thought.
The current issue presents a diverse selection of stimulating articles from practitioners and students. The first article is authored by President RSIL, Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi with assistance from Mr. Jamal Aziz, Executive Director, and highlights Pakistan’s primary concerns vis-à-vis the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). The article examines the legal capacity of the IWT to cater to Pakistan’s security concerns of Indian dams and hydroelectric projects upstream on the Western rivers. Mr. Soofi argues that the best course of action for addressing Pakistan’s strategic concerns is through bilateral dialogue with India that goes beyond the traditional framework of the IWT.
Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir, an Islamabad based advocate and former research associate RSIL, discusses in her article the challenges Pakistan faces while trying to fulfill its domestic and international commitments of providing and promoting education throughout the country.
Daanika Kamal, Program Manager at the Jinnah Institute, writes in great detail about the incompatibility of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws with international human rights obligations.
Rana Adan Abid, a lawyer and activist, attempts to reconcile tenets of Sharia with the modern conception of human rights by comparing the rights of six groups of individuals- non-Muslim minorities; the inter-trans community; prisoners of war; civilians during wartime; the economically disadvantaged; and the dependents- under both Sharia and international law.
Momna Taufeeq, junior associate at Hassan & Hassan (Advocates), explores the relationship between multinational corporations and their human rights obligations. Her article sheds light on why human rights obligations ought to be imposed and if they are imposed then why are the regulatory structures not enough to create an environment where multinational corporations safeguard human rights.
Zainab Mustafa, research associate at the Conflict Law Centre RSIL, writes about the legal lacunas present in international humanitarian law’s protection regime for civilians and the challenges in its implementation.
Neshmiya Adnan Khan, a practicing lawyer, focuses on the implications that the “North-South” divide has had on the evolution of environmental law and why is there a need to re-conceptualize this archaic distinction in view of contemporary reality.
Usama Malik, another practicing lawyer, explores both the positive and detrimental impact that the implementation of the WTO agreements has had on global economies and trade.
Finally, the note by Shayan Ahmed Khan discusses the issues pertaining to the admissibility of circumstantial, contested, classified, and illicitly obtained evidence in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He examines relevant case law in order to understand the liberal stance that the ICJ generally takes towards the admissibly of evidence.