Nataliia Мalysheva. Ethical principles – legal norms: the dialectics of interaction (reflections in the context of Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to climate change adoption)
The article deals with the problems of the legal nature of ethical principles consolidated in acts of international “soft” law; the correlation of the corresponding ethical principles with international law rules, as well as the dynamics of their impact on the national regulation of the relevant relations. Analysis carried out on the basis of formal and substantial characteristics of the Declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change (hereinafter – Declaration). The article substantiates the necessity and timeliness of the Declaration adoption, the correlation of its norms and principles with the international treaties on climate change, primarily with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement to this Convention.
Some distinction between regulation provided for in the international treaties and analyzed “soft” law act is the imperative levels; the subjects to which these documents are addressed accordingly; the nature of responsibility, which entails a violation of international treaties norms, on the one hand, and “soft” ethical principles – on the other.
Declaration, as compared with the acts of “hard” law, has the much broader base of the subjects to which it is addressed: it is practically all humanity, representatives of all sectors and all levels of the globalized world. Moreover, the Declaration is an act of direct effect, which does not require special ratification or approval procedures by the States, for its entry into force. In order to be guided by the ethical principles enshrined in the Declaration, it is not obligatory to enact the internal legal acts of implementation. However some of the principles and mechanisms for their implementation provided by the Declaration are directly addressed to the States and contain recommendations for the development of effective strategies, state decisions and legislative measures, within their competence, regarding the implementation of the relevant principles. The article analyzes the cases when legislative acts should be adopted at the national level in accordance with the provisions of the Declaration.
The emphasis in the article is on regulation in the Declaration of the special protected object – the vulnerable groups. Underlined that in addition to traditional vulnerable categories, which are addressed by many declarations of recent years (women, children, people with special needs), the Declaration pays special attention to the need for increased protection of groups in vulnerable position due to climate change: the displaced persons, the so-called climatic migrants, the indigenous peoples, the inhabitants of the small island States, most affected by natural disasters, and some others.
The successful implementation of prescribed ethical principles related to climate change is very important to conduct outreach in all countries, all sectors of population, so that the Declaration has not received a formal character, and immediately began to consistently affect the public consciousness and to integrate into the decision-making process.
Key words: ethical principles, acts of “soft” law, Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to climate change, UNESCO, vulnerable groups.