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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Current Developments

After the trial is before the trial

The ICJ’s Jadhav case and its uncertain domestic implementation

The interplay of international court decisions and their domestic implications is currently challenged in the Kulbhushan Jadhav Case (India v. Pakistan). In this case, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its verdict on 17 July, 2019. It concerns a 49-year-old former Indian Naval Officer, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani Military Court on 11 April 2017, on charges of espionage and terrorism. The ICJ ruled against the …

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Current Developments

In the wake of the ICJ’s Opinion in Chagos: Britannia waives the rules

The United Kingdom recently reacted against the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion on the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius. Has the UK abandoned the international rule of law? A unanimous verdict sows division On 25 February 2019, the ICJ handed down its Advisory Opinion on the UK’s separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius on 8 November 1965. The Opinion stated clearly that the excision of Chagos …

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Current Developments

Controversies in Caracas

Diplomatic asylum: regional customary law or treaty application?

After the failure of the uprising of the Venezuelan opposition, prosecuted politicians and military members are seeking refuge in the diplomatic representations of Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Italy. One might wonder if these incidents give reason to reconsider the existence of a regional customary rule on diplomatic asylum in Latin America. Diplomatic circumstances – controversial interests Diplomatic asylum is not codified, as it was left aside when the International Law …

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Semi-ColonialismSymposium

The a-historicity of Preah Vihear and the space for inter-disciplinarity in international law

Of International Law, Semi-colonial Thailand, and Imperial Ghosts is wide-ranging in research, nuanced in analysis, and replete with archival nuggets and food for thought. Prabhakar makes a number of important and interesting contributions in this paper. First, he convincingly substantiates a practical and theoretical distinction between colonies and semi-colonies. He goes on to demonstrate the continuing relevance of this distinction to the engagement of former colonies and semi-colonies with international law. …

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Semi-ColonialismSymposium

The Gods and Demons of the Preah Vihear Temple

The Churning I finally visited the Temple of Preah Vihear on 22 December 2018. Strikingly, the makers of the ancient temples of Cambodia appear infatuated with a particular Indian mythic leitmotif, the churning of the milk ocean. In order to churn the milk-ocean, Vishnu, a Hindu god, turns into a turtle to allow the planting of the Mount Mandhar, the churner, on his shell. Next, Vasuki, the serpent, is wrapped …

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Current DevelopmentsResponse

Plausibility and the ICJ

A response to Somos and Sparks

Since the ICJ’s 2001 decision in LaGrand (Germany v US), the Court’s jurisprudence on provisional measures indicated under Article 41 of its Statute has expanded dramatically. This is for two reasons—both, in my mind, connected to LaGrand. In the first place, with the Court having declared its provisional measures binding, it was incumbent upon it to ensure their requirements were clear and predictable. In the second (and in view of …

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Current Developments

The urgent, the plausible and the irreparable

The significance of lowering ICJ thresholds for provisional measures

The ICJ’s decision on Iran’s application for provisional measures in its high-profile proceedings against the United States of America for alleged violations of their 1955 Treaty of Amity was handed down on Wednesday. This tightly constrained and circumscribed stage of the proceedings, though only a precursor to the far more significant jurisdictional and merits stages—each of which has the potential to ask questions with lasting significance for international law and …

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