Current Developments

Ukrainische Matrosen bald auf der Heimreise?

Zur Entscheidung des ITLOS zu vorläufigen Maßnahmen in der Sache Ukraine v. Russia

Russland muss drei ukrainische Kriegsschiffe und 24 inhaftierte Crewmitglieder unverzüglich freilassen. Das hat der Internationale Seegerichtshof (ITLOS) am 25. Mai 2019 in einem Verfahren zum einstweiligen Rechtsschutz im Case concerning the detention of three Ukrainian naval vessels (Ukraine v. Russian Federation) entschieden. Diesen vorläufigen Maßnahmen („provisional measures“) ging ein Zwischenfall im Schwarzen Meer am 25. November 2018 voraus, bei dem Russland die ukrainischen Kriegsschiffe Berdyansk, Nikopol und Yani Kapu angriff und samt …

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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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Current Developments

Letting Go of Territorial Integrity

Getting Realism and Ideals Right on Ukraine

In my previous two posts (here and here), I looked at the problems of declaring Russia’s actions in Ukraine illegal – the dark side of law’s polycentrism. In this post, I consider the defective legal policy driving the Western response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine – the West’s failed fixation on territorial integrity – and consider a better response to Ukraine’s contested future: the return of a repressed idealism. Western …

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Current Developments

International Law’s Rule of Five

Russia, Ukraine, and the Dark Side of Polycentrism

In my previous post, I looked at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. In this post, I look at who’s to blame, and what’s to be done: more work for diplomats, less for lawyers. Bush’s Breakfast: Sow and Reap In domestic law, we have mechanisms for final decision. The storied US Supreme Court Justice …

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Current Developments

Polycentrism’s Playground

Ukraine and Russia’s Implausible Deniability

In this post, the first in a series on the Ukrainian crisis, I look at the obvious illegality of Russia’s actions in Ukraine – and the problems with that obviousness in the pluralistic cacophony of international law. If Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hasn’t violated international law, it’s hard to see what would. Which means, unfortunately, that it’s hard to see what would. Obvious, Illegal After months of protests in Kiev …

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