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EU extraterritorial obligations with respect to trade with occupied territories: Reflections after the case of Front Polisario before EU courts

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      Abstract

      This paper provides a critical analysis of the recent judgments of the General Court of the EU and the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of Front Polisario v Council, which concerned the application of the EU-Morocco Liberalisation Agreement to products from Western Sahara. The central argument is that both EU courts failed to adequately consider the nature of the Moroccan presence on Western Saharan territory: a belligerent occupation. In light of this occupation, the courts should have channelled the EU’s extraterritorial obligations vis-à-vis the population of Western Sahara through the tailor-made regimes of the law of occupation and the international duty of non-recognition. It is argued that the application of the Liberalisation Agreement may notably run afoul of the EU’s duty of non-recognition, but that the Agreement may still apply insofar as it benefits the local population. More fundamentally, after Front Polisario, the EU may want to reconsider all trade relations in respect of occupied territories by distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate products.

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      Affiliations
      [1 ]Professor of Public International Law, Utrecht University (RENFORCE research programme), The Netherlands
      [2 ]Graduate Researcher School of Law, Utrecht University
      Author notes
      [* ]Correspondence: C.M.J.Ryngaert@ 123456uu.nl
      Journal
      EWLR
      Europe and the World: A law review
      Eur. World
      UCL Press
      2399-2875
      10 October 2018
      : 2
      : 1
      10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2018.07
      EWLR-2-7
      © 2018, Cedric Ryngaert, Rutger Fransen.

      This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited • DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2018.07.

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      Pages: 20
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      C Ryngaert, R Fransen, ‘EU extraterritorial obligations with respect to trade with occupied territories: Reflections after the case of Front Polisario before EU courts’ [2018] 2( 1): 7. Europe and the World: A law review [20]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.ewlj.2018.07.
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