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The (Gay) Elephant in the Room: Is there a Positive Obligation to Legally Recognise Same-Sex Unions after Fedotova v. Russia?

On the 13th of July, the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section) decided the case Fedotova v. Russia, nos. 40792/10 etc, holding that the Russian State violated Art. 8 ECHR for not having provided same-sex couples with the opportunity to have their relationships formally acknowledged in form of a marriage, or in any other form. The judgment, which has already been viewed as “historic” (here), represents an important and welcome development in the saga of legal recognition of same-sex unions in the ECHR. Where we left off, in Oliari v. Italy (2015), the Court left unclear whether Art. 8 imposed a general positive obligation upon all States to adopt a legal framework recognising same-sex unions, in the form of marriage or in any other equivalent form. In Fedotova v. Russia, the Court finally addressed the elephant in the room and clearly held that a State lacking the opportunity to have same-sex relationships legally acknowledged is in violation of Art. 8.

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Relinquishment of jurisdiction contra legem: The European Court of Human Rights’ decision in Grzęda v. Poland

The European Court of Human Rights, like any international court, is bound by its founding treaty. In particular, the jurisdiction and powers of the Court are prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). A recent case of judicial self-empowerment concerning the relinquishment of jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber has triggered concerns that the Court is not…

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‘From the Wells of Disappointment’: Rejoinder to Brad Roth

I am grateful to Brad Roth for his extensive and sincere engagement with my argument. We both share a curiosity about ‘left-of-centre agendas’ and a deep sense of unease about the politics of post-Cold War international law. We both also have a strong interest in understanding the role played in it by neocolonialism, the International Law of…

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US Mistreatment towards Iran’s Representatives to the UN: Is Iran Initiating the Third Case against the US at the ICJ?

In recent years, some visa applications for Iran's representatives to the UN have been rejected by the US. Also, Iran's representatives to the UN may only travel between the Iranian U.N. mission, the Iranian U.N. ambassador’s residence, John F. Kennedy airport, and the UN, and they would need authorization to go beyond a 25-mile (40-kilometer) radius (see…

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COVID-19, the right to education and Bangladesh

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift in the understanding of human rights jurisprudence. Like many other human rights, the right to education is now continuously being rethought and renegotiated within the constant pulls of statist economic priorities and public health emergencies. In the context of…

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Permanent Imminence of Armed Attacks: Resolution 2249 (2015) and the Right to Self Defence Against Designated Terrorist Groups

On 14 November, a day after the terrorist atrocity in Paris, a number of key states, including the US and Russia, met in Vienna. The delegates assembled there committed themselves to work towards a comprehensive cease-fire in Syria by the New Year. However, even if peace can be…

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Economic Nationalism in a New Age for International Economic Law: Recalling Warnings of Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian School

International economic law developments barely one month into 2017 have been nothing short of tectonic this side of the Atlantic. From US President Trump’s first executive action to withdraw the United States from the unratified Trans-Pacific Partnership; his subsequent announcement (later called mainly an option) to impose…

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ICTY Appeals Chamber Reinstates Genocide Charges in the Karadzic Case

Just a couple of minutes ago the ICTY Appeals Chamber sitting in the Karadzic case reversed the Rule 98 bis judgment of acquittal rendered by the Trial Chamber last year (see my post on that decision for more background; the Appeals Chamber’s decision is not yet…

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The ICC Prosecutor’s statement on the Situation in Palestine: A Hand Stretched forth in Friendship?

On 3 March the OTP of the ICC confirmed that it had initiated an investigation regarding the Situation in Palestine. The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014.

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Crimea, Kosovo, Hobgoblins and Hypocrisy

One of the more remarkable aspects of the whole unfortunate Ukraine episode is the rampant hypocrisy on part of all of the major players involved in the dispute. Those same Western states that unlawfully invaded Iraq, and supported Kosovo's secession from Serbia while endlessly repeating that Kosovo was…

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