Alpha, Beta, Deltazeta and Zetaland are independent States, universally recognised by the
international community and all four are members of the United Nations. Beta, Deltazeta and
Zetaland (but not Alpha) are also party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
(ICC). Furthermore, all these states have made optional clause declarations and have thus
accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ without reservations.
The Alpha government is an ally of the Deltazeta’s government. Beta is usually neutral on
these affairs and wants the international community to see it as a compliant international law
citizen. Meanwhile, Zetaland has long had a frosty relationship with Deltazeta, due to the
latter’s harsh treatment of i
requiring that all schools, including those in majority Zeta areas, teach primarily in the Delta
language. Resentment surrounding this law fuelled revolutionary sentiment among the Zeta.
Then one insurrectionist movement: The Zeta Liberation Army (ZLA) rapidly developed.
Five years ago, the ZLA started a period of aggressive civil war against the government of
Deltazeta with the aim of overthrowing the government. Deltazeta promptly sent in troops
to put down the insurrectionists. There followed a bitter conflict between Deltazeta fighting
forces and the ZLA which lasted 5 years. The conflict which first started in the western parts
of Deltazeta, progressively moved to the east and subsequently moved to the whole territory.
During the conflict, ZLA fighters gained a reputation for ruthless aggression. Under the direct
command of Mr X, they embarked on a program of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the western part of
Deltazeta. This involved driving persons of Delta ethnicity from the mountain valleys that fell
into the ZLA’s control, appropriating their homes and farms for Zeta families. Any Delta who
refused to leave their homes within 48 hours of receiving notice to do so were removed by
force. It is estimated that 350,000 Delta were displaced from the western part of Deltazeta,
with a further 50,000 being killed by ZLA fighters.
There was a lot of turmoil in the whole territory of Deltazeta with Deltazeta’s government not
having enough resources to performs its usual functions. Some other terrible events included:
A trout farm located in Western Mountain Valley, owned by a Beta company, was destroyed
in fighting between government forces and the insurrectionaries. During these events, a Beta
national: Sigma Tau was also killed. Although this person had acquired Deltazeta nationality
one year before the event in question and was now prosperously living in Deltazeta, he had
lived and worked most of his life in Beta, where all his family lived.
Furthermore, a subsidiary of a private company incorporated in Alpha: Sigma Corporation,
located in Omicron city was the subject of extensive harassment, resulting in the withdrawal
of most Alpha personnel. The revolutionary authorities forced the subsidiary to surrender all
its entitlements and froze its bank account. They also brought some ZLA fighters as personnel
to work and continued the operation of the company.
Three men who stated they were “members of the ZLA” arrested the CEO of Sigma
Corporation, an Alpha national; gave him 40 minutes to pack his belongings and forcibly
detained him at a central hotel in Omicron City. A week later, he was deported from Deltazeta.
Given the terrible state of Deltazeta, the State of Alpha as an ally of the Deltazeta’s
government at the time, placed some of his militia at the disposal of Deltazeta. It is uncertain
however, whether the Deltazeta’s government actually took control over the army. The Alpha
army was under the command of General Y, an Alpha national. In one particularly infamous
episode (of several other horrifying ones that occurred under his command), General Y,
authorised airstrikes on a school on the Western Mountain Valley, believing it to be used as
a munitions store by the ZLA. It transpired that no munitions were stored there and the
airstrike resulted in the deaths of hundreds of children. General Y is now back at Alpha after
Alpha granted him amnesty.
Furthermore, a large group of sympathizers of the ZLA overtook the Alpha embassy located
in Omicron City. They also kidnapped the Alpha personnel in the embassy and kept them as
prisoners for six months. Many of these Alpha personnel suffered physical as well as
psychological injuries during this captivity, with one fatality occurring. Although the ZLA did
not take credit for this action, they issued propaganda endorsing the taking of the Alpha
embassy and the kidnapping of the Alpha personnel.
Following this terrible period of civil conflict, the ZLA assumed control of Deltazeta and
became the new government, with Mr X now as president of Deltazeta. The first decree of Mr
X is that the new government of Deltazeta will not take any responsibility for any actions
committed by the ZLA or the government at the time during the last 5 years and it orders all
its national Courts and Tribunals including its Supreme Court to dismiss any current/future
proceedings or claims.
Your job is to legally advise the new Deltazeta’s government in relation to public international
law. You have just now received the following email from the Deltazeta Foreign Ministry:
We have just heard word that the State of Beta is planning to diplomatically
intercede for the destruction of the trout farm on behalf of the Beta company and
the death of his national: Sigma Tau.
Also, be advised, Mr X, our president is planning to visit Beta next month in an
official capacity to deal with this. It appears however, Beta’s authorities may
attempt to arrest Mr X and intend for him to stand trial in the ICC for human rights
We have also received correspondence from the State of Alpha in relation to the
damage to the Alpha embassy, the injuries received by the personnel and the staff
that was killed. In their letter, they also referred to the deportation of the CEO of
Sigma Corporation and accusing Deltazeta of taking over Sigma Corporation.
All Cabinet Ministers are currently conferring with our President regarding all these
matters. We ask that you please advise on public international law in relation to the
following questions, in the following order, giving reasons and legal support for
1. Does Deltazeta have any responsibility for:
a. the destruction of the trout farm owned by a Beta Company?
b. the destruction of the Alpha embassy and the injuries and/or death of
the Alpha embassy personnel? Why/Why not?
c. the deportation of the CEO of Sigma Corporation? Why/Why not?
2. Regarding the death of Sigma Tau:
a. can Beta intercede on behalf of Sigma Tau, bearing in mind that Sigma
Tau had acquired Deltazeta citizenship and; bearing in mind also, that
according to Deltazeta law any person that acquires the Deltazeta
citizenship loses any other nationality upon adopting the nationality of
b. assuming so, does Deltazeta have any responsibility and based on
3. Regarding Sigma Corporation:
a. can Alpha intercede on behalf of Sigma Corporation bearing in mind
the government of Deltazeta has not issued any law or decree
according to which Sigma Corporation was expressly nationalised or
b. if so, is it likely Deltazeta would have any responsibility for this?
4. With regards to our president Mr X,
a. would the ICC have jurisdiction to try Mr X and what would be the
most relevant offences for the ICC to charge him with?
b. assuming the ICC has no jurisdiction, could Beta arrest Mr X anyways
to try him?
5. In relation to the airstrikes on the school on the Western Mountain Valley
which resulted in the death of hundreds of children:
a. could Deltazeta argue that Alpha has responsibility for those
airstrikes? Why/Why not?
b. assuming for a moment, Alpha accepts responsibility and offers to pay
a hefty amount of money for this incident but insists on not giving up
General Y, what can be done about him?
6. Advise Deltazeta as to the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration over
all other forms of international dispute resolution to attempt to resolve the
issues with Alpha and Beta
7. Assuming for a moment: the conflict is still ongoing, the ZLA has not yet taken
power, the Alpha embassy personnel are still kidnapped; could Alpha, without
Deltazeta’s consent, use reasonable force to send the Alpha Secret Service
with a number of undercover agents to storm the embassy and attempt to
save the kidnapped people?
8. Assuming again the conflict is still ongoing, could Zetaland send drones to
attempt to kill general Y and his army based on humanitarian purposes?
Please support your answer with any particular state practice around the
world and its meaning to the law.
Guide on Submitting your Assignment:
Please note the following:
Late Assessment Penalty: Unless a Special Consideration request has been
submitted and approved: (i) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out
of 100 will be deducted per day for assignment submitted after the due date –
and (ii) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl.
weekends) after the original submission deadline.
Special Consideration Policy: Applications for Special Consideration are made
electronically via ask.mq.edu.au and should be accompanied by supporting
documentation. Students should refer to the Special Consideration Policy for
complete details of the policy and a description of the supporting
documentation required. The Policy is available here:
The Special Consideration Policy is effective from 4th December 2017 and
replaces the Disruption to Studies Policy.
1. Please read the facts of the scenario and questions carefully and
2. Do not regurgitate the facts of the case. You may refer to the facts on
your analysis but you do not need to reiterate the facts of the scenario in
3. The IRAC method is a tool to assist you in legal problem solving, it is not
a tool for you to model the structure of your answers. It is a tool that will
assist you in identifying that you have all the necessary components to
answer the question. Accordingly, make sure your analysis is evident
prior to offering a conclusion. Merely referring to the law and arriving to
a decision is not enough.
4. Even though, this scenario is not based on real facts, you should write
exactly as you would in the real world if you were advising such a client.
However, one artificial aspect of this exercise is that you should include
full citations just as you would in any academic writing. The citations
should take the form of footnotes and should comply with the Australian
Guide to Legal Citations (3rd edition).
5. Limit your advice to public international law. Assume that your client will
be advised separately in relation to any political affairs and/or relevant
Criteria for marking the opinion:
Your advice will be assessed in accordance with the following criteria:
• it should demonstrate an understanding of the relevant areas of
international law covered by Topics 1 to 12 of this unit;
• it should demonstrate an ability to apply the relevant principles of
international law to the scenario;
• it should demonstrate an ability to provide accurate and appropriate
• it should be your own, independent work;
• it should be written in a clear and concise style, observing the grammar
and syntax of English i.e
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