On Saturday “TS Thakur” Chief Justice of India stressed that in the ever-shrinking world, "we must be aware of the international law" and deal with the emerging scenarios. 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 organized by the regional chapter of the International Law Association.
"We must be aware of what is happening in the world, prepare for it with an ability to deal with them.
“TS Thakur,” said in the globalized world- Political borders may still have some relevance, but the economic borders have become irrelevant, and at the speed and dimension with which international laws were emerging and shaping, they had gone beyond the comprehension of any nation.
The Chief Justice said decisions of the courts in one country would lose their efficacy unless the regimes in other nations respected them. Referring to the conflict of the jurisdiction of different countries.
However, he said the duty of the Indian state to follow or conform to the international law has to be read harmoniously with the provisions of the Constitution and the prevailing laws.
Thakur said- By giving an example, the order of the child's custody for 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, the welfare of the child would weigh with the Indian court.
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-“ He said.”
Referring to the areas like space, ocean, environment and refugee crisis where international law has a significant role to play.
Emerging economies including India could not be penalised for the 'greenhouse effect' as it is the developed countries like the US that have been emitting carbon dioxide and must pay under the principle of 'polluter pays' and "If you have an international law that polluter pays, then those who have polluted must pay- “TS Thakur said”
Apex Court judge Justice AK Sikri said- In his address, that three situations could ensue in respect of international law, one where India has signed the international treaty and accordingly enacted a law giving it legal teeth, second where India has signed an international treat but passed no domestic law to back it, and thirdly it has not signed an international treaty and nor is there a local law.
He said that in next two situations it was not difficult for the Indian courts to take best elements from such international treaties for the advancement of human rights by taking recourse to Article 21 of the constitution guaranteeing the protection of life and personal liberty.
However, in the economic sphere, the domestic law would prevail over the international treaties when they are in conflict-" TS Thakur said".