Current Developments

“Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake”

Legal fragmentation in the context of the Rohingya proceedings before the ICJ and ICC

The parallelism of different international proceedings examining atrocity crimes committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar has been welcomed by many commentators. Indeed, international law (IL) appears to be showing its strength, pursuing individual as well as state responsibility for the repelling wrongdoings committed against the Muslim group of Rakhine State. Nonetheless, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) simultaneously dealing with legal questions embedded in …

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IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

To sue or not to sue

Enforcing the obligation to notify under the international health regulations

Various areas of international law highlight the value of information and the essential role of the obligation to notify in fulfilling other duties. The current COVID-19 global crisis has further stressed the significance of notification requirements, given the hypothesized possibility that the pandemic could have been averted had the obligation to notify been fulfilled. Through International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) cases that analyze this obligation, mainly relative to the customary …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Judging climate change obligations: Can the World Court rise to the occasion?

Part II: What role for international adjudication?

In Part I of this post, we sought to identify the core rules of international environmental law that needed evolution and clarification for a claim relating to climate change to succeed. We now turn to how international adjudication might help to achieve genuine legal change. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been at the centre of the UN’s various initiatives on the issue, and at the …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Judging climate change obligations: Can the World Court rise to the occasion?

Part I: Primary obligations to combat climate change

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic piles crisis atop crisis. As confirmed infection rates cross 2.5 million and attributed deaths pass 170,000 (at time of writing, in April 2020), it is increasingly being accepted that biodiversity loss has reduced the resilience of natural systems when faced with the emergence of new diseases. At the same time, ever closer contact between humans and animals (through intensive farming, habitat encroachment and other factors) has increased …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Schnell heißt nicht rechtmäßig

Die Vergabe der russischen Staatsangehörigkeit in der Ostukraine steht völkerrechtlich auf wackligen Füßen

In einem Legal-Tribune-Online–Beitrag vom 02.03.2020 nimmt der Autor mit dem Pseudonym Johann Verhaelen die schnelle Vergabe von russischen Staatsangehörigkeiten (200.000 Einbürgerungen seit Mai 2019) zum Anlass, einige Fragen im Kontext des völkerrechtlichen Staatsangehörigkeitsrechts aufzuwerfen. Anhand des zentralen Nottebohm-Urteils erläutert Verhaelen, warum es vertretbar ist, der Auffassung zu sein, dass der Ukraine bei der Vergabe von Pässen und Staatsangehörigkeit durch die Russische Föderation kein eigenes Mitspracherecht zukommt bzw. dass die Vergabe …

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Current Developments

And the victims’ voices?

On the ICJ’s provisional measures in the Myanmar genocide case and the role of the IIMM

On January 23, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unanimously issued its provisional measures order for the case of the Rohingya. Even though the international community has welcomed the indication of provisional measures as a step towards accountability for the heinous crimes committed against the religious minority, the importance of this order should not be overestimated. “There were so many bodies and so much blood in the river, it looked …

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BofaxeCurrent Developments

All eyes on the Court

On the ICJ hearings on provisional measures in The Gambia v. Myanmar

Whilst Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya minority has long been subject to public scrutiny, in November news broke that The Gambia instituted proceedings against Myanmar before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under Article IX of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) for the alleged genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Last week’s hearings were confined to The Gambia’s request for provisional …

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Current Developments

The Gambia and the Rohingya’s nightmare

Which opportunity for individual criminal accountability after the possible ICJ decision against Myanmar for genocide?

The Gambia submitted an application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 11 November 2019 against the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for acts of genocide committed against the Rohingya people. The proceedings have been initiated in application of the Genocide Convention of 1948 which both countries have ratified. They have also accepted the ICJ’s jurisdiction provided for therein under article IX. The Rohingya constitute a minority group …

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Current Developments

Justice for the Rohingya: three roads to accountability

The past week (11-15 November 2019) has seen Myanmar facing an arsenal of legal challenges for alleged international crimes before the International Criminal Court (ICC), International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the federal court in Argentina. After decades of documented (gross) human rights violations against the Rohingya, efforts to secure accountability has gained momentum following multiple allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide by various United Nations (UN) investigative efforts, …

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Current Developments

International climate change adjudication: A means to amplify voices of the global south?

Traditionally, the UN Climate change regime has been premised on an intergovernmental negotiations paradigm where political actors play the dominant role in the development of norms. In this post, I argue for using international adjudication as a supplementary tool to complement international negotiations. Adjudication, which entails the participation of impartial, third‑party decision makers, might help us overcome blind spots of negotiations by redistributing argumentative burdens and providing an expressive function …

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