Current research – Evaluation of the ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) international legal order policy

IOB evaluates to what extent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has achieved its policy goals aimed at strengthening/developing the international legal order between 2015 and 2021? Which results have been achieved and what lessons can be drawn from them for the formulation and implementation of future policy?

The strengthening of the international legal order is anchored in the Dutch Constitution. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the international legal order policy. The main priorities of the policy are:

  • The (further) development of international law
  • Strengthening multilateralism
  • Peaceful settlement of disputes
  • Fight against impunity and the effectuation of accountability (including through international courts and tribunals)
  • Preventive diplomacy

The international legal order policy of the Netherlands is closely intertwined with its human rights policy. IOB will also start an evaluation of the human rights policy in 2022. Both evaluations will be carried out in close relationship with each other.

Key question

The key question of the evaluation is: To what extent has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs achieved its policy goals aimed at strengthening/developing the international legal order between 2015 and 2021? Which results have been achieved and what lessons can be drawn from them for the formulation and implementation of future policy?

The evaluation includes four case studies

  1. Efforts to arrive at a Multilateral Convention on Legal Aid and Extradition of International Crimes (MLA initiative);
  2. The involvement in the International, Independent and Impartial Mechanism for Syria (IIIM);
  3. The case that The Gambia has brought before the International Court of Justice against Myanmar, where the Netherlands has expressed its support;
  4. The follow-up of the installment of sanctions on human traffickers in Libya by the UN security council in 2018. 
     

External literature review to identify

  1. the most important international developments that have impacted the priorities of the MFA international legal order policy;
  2. the consequences of this for the functioning of the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice;
  3. the use of sanctions as a preventive instrument and the functioning of alternative evidence-gathering mechanisms in the fight against impunity.

Process

  1. Ready: Exploration
  2. Ready: Terms of Reference adopted
  3. In process: Research in progress
  4. Report adopted
  5. Drafting policy response
  6. Report to parliament