The Gulf Co-operation Council, law and institutions : implications for the member states
Subsequent to numerous bilateral and multilateral cooperation attempts during the 1970's, the States of the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait established a regional organisation, the GCC, on 25 May 1981 with the underlying objectives of promoting cooperation and development in all fields, with special emphasis on the economic sphere. The aim of this study is to elucidate and analyse the constitutional formation of the GCC as well as its international and national legal status and to gauge the implication of the analysis for the Member States. The study is introduced by the background chapter which traces the political history of the Member States and their pre-GCC cooperation efforts. It further delineates how and when the idea of embarking upon such an institutionalised cooperation was born and eventually materialised. Chapter two dissects the constitutional framework of the GCC. Besides an identification of GCC stated and implied objectives and principles, it treats the issues on membership, unilateral withdrawal, reservation to provisions of the Charter and amendment thereof. It also portrays the GCC organs and classifies them into principle ones, ancillary and specialised ministerial committees. Having identified the decision-making organ, it concludes with an attempt to investigate the way GCC decisions are initiated and finally made; their nature as well as legal force is also determined. The legal personality of the GCC both under international law and under municipal law of Member States is examined in chapter three. Chapter four ventures into determination of the characteristics of the GCC along the spectrum of international associations. As an organisation aiming in the long run at integration amongst its Member States, consideration of the status of its legal acts within municipal law of each Member is of import for such undertaking purports to unfold and classify the type of relationship between GCC law and domestic law of Member States, and its effectiveness in pursuing the sought objective. Accordingly, the study embodies chapters five and six which give an account of GCC substantiative economic law, and, at the same time, show in practical terms how GCC programmes are being elaborated, sanctioned and received by the legal systems of Member States. Questions raised by these chapter regarding the character of GCC law and its relationship with municipal law of Member States are answered in chapter seven. The concluding chapter highlights the findings of the study. In addition, it points out to the institutional shortcomings, and in light of the overall findings of the study it recommends the establishment of a GCC court of justice and a specialised supervisory organ. Thoughts on the future outlook of the GCC concludes the whole study.