Current Developments

A chain as strong as its weakest link

Climate science and legal causation after the Mozambique floods

In spring 2019, Mozambique was hit by a large-scale disaster. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth tore through the country on 14 March and 25 April, resulting in heavy rainfall and causing major flooding in five of the country’s eleven provinces. The disaster had devastating impacts on affected communities’ enjoyment of their human rights. UNICEF’s Humanitarian Situation Report, published on 31 July 2019, estimates that 1.7 million people in Mozambique continue to …

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DiscussionResponse

Owada and the whale: a Rejoinder

The arguments provided by James Harrison as to why the ICJ conducted an inversion of the burden of proof in the Whaling Case appear sound and conclusive; but they are also widely speculative. As he himself underlines, even though the award of the Court implies an interpretation of the ICRW notwithstanding clause as put forward by one of the parties in trial – namely the applicant – it does not …

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DiscussionResponse

Onus probandi in the Whaling Case – a comment

It is perhaps no surprise that Japan has decided to resume its scientific whaling following the judgment of the International Court of Justice in March 2014. After all, the Court noted that ‘Article VIII [of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW)] expressly contemplates the use of lethal methods’ [§83], thereby confirming the right of Japan to conduct scientific whaling, including the killing of whales, provided that the …

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DiscussionKick-off

Owada and the whale

Dissenting on the burden of proof before the ICJ

Japan is out whaling again. One year after the ICJ decision that found that Japan’s whaling program in the Antarctic was not in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), there is, unsurprisingly, a new push towards that same direction from Japanese authorities. This is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at ‘the unofficial Japanese understanding’ of that case: the words of judge Owada …

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