Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Russia, international law, and the melting of the Arctic

The melting ice in the polar caps is one of humanity’s contemporary ecological anxieties. Climate change scientists have suggested that there is a high likelihood that the Arctic sea ice cover will get thinner and continue to shrink. Likewise, the Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover is expected to decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Are the current international legal mechanisms sufficiently equipped to respond to …

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Current Developments

Cheating Chile

The (il)legality of information and the World Bank’s “Doing Business” ranking

A rare mea culpa emanated from the leading international development institution, the World Bank, last week. The Bank’s Chief Economist, Paul Romer, told the Wall Street Journal: “I want to make a personal apology to Chile, and to any other country where we conveyed the wrong impression.” Romer, who took his post in late 2016, said he had found “irregularities” in the World Bank’s flagship publication, the “Doing Business” ranking. …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

‘Peaceful’ and ‘Remedial’ Annexations of Crimea

This post analyzes the ‘two annexations’ of Crimea in the Russian narrative of ‘reclaiming its historical rights’ over the peninsula in 2014. As many aspects surrounding the occupation of Crimea have been extensively debated in scholarly writings, I will limit my focus on two key concepts that Russia has advanced: Ukraine’s ‘peaceful annexation’ of Crimea in 1991; and Russia’s ‘remedial annexation’ of Crimea in 2014. My main aim is to …

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Current Developments

Das Dilemma der Intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit

Der EuGH könnte im Fall Achmea bald die Unvereinbarkeit von intra-EU Investor-Staat Schiedsgerichten mit europäischem Recht erklären – mit weitreichenden rechtlichen Konsequenzen

Über den Achmea-Fall (Rechtssache C-284/16), seine Hintergründe und die mündliche Verhandlung wurde auf diesem Blog bereits an anderer Stelle berichtet. Die dem Fall zugrundeliegende rechtliche Problematik beruht auf den bilateralen völkerrechtlichen Investitionsschutz-Verträgen zwischen EU Mitgliedstaaten (intra-EU BITs), die materielle Schutzstandards für Investoren beinhalten und in den meisten Fällen zur Streitbeilegung die Möglichkeit der Anrufung eines internationalen Schiedsgerichts vorsehen. Hundertfünfundneunzig intra-EU BITs sind noch in Kraft und fast alle von ihnen …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part III: The Jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal

In our first and second post, we have considered the status of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait and, on that basis, identified passage rights of Ukraine that could potentially feature in the proceedings before the arbitral tribunal established under Annex VII of UNCLOS. In our present and last post, we inquire if (or to what extent) these potential Ukrainian claims could fall within the jurisdiction of the arbitral …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part II: Ukraine’s Rights of Passage through Kerch Strait

In our previous post, we have taken a look at the legal status of the Sea of Azov and concluded that there are two possible Scenarios involving either a shared bay regime of internal waters or a “standard” situation in which the Sea of Azov is divided into the territorial seas of Russia and Ukraine in addition to a high seas pocket in the centre (see Picture 3). Based on …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Ukraine v. Russia: Passage through Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

Part I: The Legal Status of Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov

On 16 September 2016, Ukraine instituted arbitral proceedings against Russia under Part XV and Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation). The case relates to Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014, which fundamentally disrupted the maritime order in the Black …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Les évolutions de la primauté de la souveraineté dans l’approche russe du droit international

« Du passé faisons table rase » : à l’heure de fêter le centième anniversaire de la Révolution d’Octobre, ces paroles de l’Internationale ont résonné dans beaucoup de têtes. Ainsi en est-il de la Russie, qui connut plusieurs revirements spectaculaires en moins d’un siècle. Toutefois, un fil rouge se dégage dans la pensée internationaliste russe. En effet, s’il est connu que la souveraineté est au cœur de l’approche russe actuelle en droit international, …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

A Nationalized Approach to International Law: the Case of Russia

When a new edition of one of the most authoritative Soviet international law textbooks co-authored by professor Tunkin was published in 1999, most of its chapters repeated the previous 1981 version of the same textbook word-for-word, with references to “bourgeois” science of international law in the 1981 edition simply replaced by global change to “Western” science of international law in the 1999 edition. This is probably the best illustration of …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Strasbourg’s Effect on Russia – and Russia’s Effect on Strasbourg

It has been occasionally asked, in the light of case law that comes out from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), whether Russia actually complies with the ECtHR’s judgments. In terms of the big picture, even more important is the question whether the country has made any systemic progress in terms of human rights protection while being part of the Strasbourg system. How could the paradox be explained that …

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Russian Perspectives on International LawSymposium

Symposium: “Russian Perspectives on International Law”

We are excited to launch the Symposium “Russian Perspectives on International Law”. It has been in planning for a while, and we were enthusiastic about the response to our call for contributions. The symposium is motivated by an interest in the manifold ways in which the Russian case vis-à-vis international law is special. Politically: Russia, belonging to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plays an important role …

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Current Developments

Nature as a bearer of rights – a legal construction in pursuit for better environmental protection?

The World Climate Conference (COP 23), held in Bonn, Germany, has ended on November 17th and some of its key outcomes seem to be auspicious (e.g. the coal phase-out promoted by some states). Yet, one of the most dividing points in international environmental law has remained untouched: whether – when considering environmental rights and obligations – nature should be the carrier of rights and thus be protected for the sake …

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DiscussionKick-off

Self-Defence Against the PKK?

The Turkish Approach to International Law

The conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as a Kurdish insurgent movement is a four-decade-long (from the 1980s) guerrilla war in the southeast region of the country. Turkish President R.T. Erdogan, in a reaction to an attack in the centre of Ankara which killed at least 28 people and left another 61 injured on 17 February 2016, stated that “Our State will never give up its right …

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Current Developments

Zu ihrem Glück vereint

Die wechselvollen Beziehungen der Europäischen Union mit der Schweiz

Das öffentliche Interesse an dem Besuch von EU-Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Junker am 22. November in Bern war groß. Im Vorfeld des – schon von langer Hand geplanten – Treffens mit dem Schweizer Bundesrat brannten erneute Diskussionen darüber auf wie die Beziehungen der Schweiz mit der Europäischen Union (EU) zukünftig aussehen könnten. Grund genug, sich den gegenwärtigen Stand der Beziehungen zwischen der Schweiz und der EU noch einmal vor Augen zu führen. …

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Current Developments

The winds in New York have not changed after the recent ICJ elections

Inflamed passions, relentless rallying and 11 voting sessions hence, the International Court of Justice (ICJ/World Court/Court) was finally made complete. Contrary to previous occasions characterizing the Court’s history, ‘completeness’ this time around meant something hitherto inconceivable. With the UK’s withdrawal of Justice Greenwood from the Court’s candidacy after repeatedly being trumped over by India’s Justice Bhandari, the ICJ will function without a judge drawn from a permanent member of the …

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Current Developments

Die Trump-Administration, der Kongress und das Dilemma des JCPOA

Nach knapp 12 Jahren stockend verlaufender Verhandlungen, verbunden mit massivem wirtschaftlichen Druck auf Iran, konnten sich am 14.07.2015 die Außenminister der EU-3+3 – Bezeichnung für Staaten (P5+Deutschland), die sich den diplomatischen Bemühungen mit Iran anschlossen – und Iran in Wien auf den gemeinsamen umfassenden Aktionsplan, den JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), einigen. Dieser Meilenstein, insbesondere in den amerikanisch-iranischen Beziehungen, wurde durch die Wahl des moderaten Kandidaten Hassan Rouhani in …

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