South Africa, the power house of the African continent, as well as Germany, Europe’s largest economic power, are faced with an intricate maze of international obligations, whether related to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the African Union or the European Union (EU), international human rights law, international humanitarian law, or any other sub-regime of international law. The two countries are in a different position when facing the implementation of this maze of obligations. South Africa is a developing economy that faces various capacity challenges which, at times, also impact the manner and extent to which it implements its international treaty obligations. Germany, ont the other hand, benefits from comparatively well-funded institutes of international law and a well-trained academic community, which have contributed to the successful implementation of much of international law. But as the relevant chapters in this volume show, the German case is not without its own complexities.
As a result, an exchange of ideas and experiences pertaining to the implementation of international obligations can prove fruitful for both countries. Moreover, such an exchange could also serve as a useful point of departure for other countries in Southern Africa that face similar challenges in relation to implementation. The current book explores suitable techniques of implementation of international law, by comparing South Africa with Germany. After a general overview of the status of international law within Germany and South Africa respectively, it focuses on the implementation of international instruments pertaining to key sub-areas of international law in the two countries.
These include the United Nations Charter (peace and security), the international law of the sea, international economic law, international environmental law, international human rights law, international criminal law, regional integration, and the status of international judicial decisions before domestic courts.