Current Developments

What’s next to preserve the linguistic richness of Indigenous Peoples?

Beyond the International Year of Indigenous Languages

This year, 2019, marks the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Based on the United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution 71/178, it represents a massive effort to finally raise awareness on the invaluable richness of Indigenous languages. This initiative is primarily led by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), but it involves all the UN bodies directly dealing with Indigenous Peoples’ rights (e.g., the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous …

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Future of International Law

Ambivalence and Language in International Law

A response to the post by Jacqueline Mowbray The problem of language in international law is at least twofold. The language of its law necessarily means disjuncture from the particularities of any one locus. Nothing makes this more obvious than seeing the accused of horrific and macabre genocidal regimes in a courtroom in The Hague. The defendants are suddenly confronted by an externally imposed code of micro and macro obligations …

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Future of International Law

The future of international law: shaped by English

‘The world will never be the same. It will not obey aggressive orders given in English any more.’ (Margarita Simonyan, head of Russia’s state-owned external broadcaster RT, after President Putin signed the treaty to accept the ‘Republic of Crimea’ into the Russian Federation: BBC News, 18 March 2014) The Russia-Ukraine situation is a crisis for international law. It is also a crisis of language. In addition to its concern to …

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