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“Pushbacks” as Euphemism

Late in March, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, declared that it identified “hundreds” of migrant pushbacks from Greece. These have allegedly occurred in the Aegean and in the Evros region – the Northern land border between Greece and Turkey. While Greece continues to deny these allegations, it has now become abundantly clear that this is mere gaslighting. Aegean Boat Report, one of the most persistent documenters of these events, holds an enormous trove of photographic and other evidence of these actions. Leading media sites, as well as politicians in Brussels, have acknowledged these actions. In our own work with migrants and refugees, as scholars and advocates, we have often heard first-hand accounts of these violations. The term “pushback” has emerged from the discourse of refugee advocates. It is a non-technical term to refer to a violation of the basic prohibition of refugee law – that of non-refoulement: no one should be returned to where they may suffer well-founded fear of persecution or ill-treatment. It is also a procedural safeguard ensuring that anyone with…

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Drowning in the Mediterranean: Time to think and act regionally

Europe, that is, the EU and its institutions, currently asserts the right to manage the movement of people across the Mediterranean, and with that comes responsibility, for special protection is owed to those whom it would manage. ‘Responsibility’ is multi-dimensional. Fault, in the sense of wilful or negligent conduct, may be relevant; or responsibility may follow from the…

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Two Weeks in Review, 29 March – 11 April 2021

Myanmar Marc Weller reflects on the norm of democracy in international law in light of the recent military coup in Myanmar. Weller discusses the appearance of the norm in human rights treaties and the potential responses of the UNSC and UNGA in instances where the norm is violated. …

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Announcements: CfA Fellowship in Human Rights, Inequality, and the Future of Work; Paik Choong-Hyun Prize; Unpacking Transitional Justice Series, Seminar 2; Racial Capitalism and the Anthropocene Lecture; RfC Edited Collections Over the General Law; Palestine, Israel and the ICC Webinar; Tel Aviv University International Law COVID Workshop; International Legal Podcast (Spanish); Online Workshop for UNWCC Researchers

1. Call for Applications: Fellowship in Human Rights, Inequality, and the Future of Work. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas at Austin, an interdisciplinary human rights center housed in the School of Law, seeks applications for a post-doctoral or research fellowship beginning 1 July 2021 and running through to 30 July…

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Deadline Approaching: ILA Conference in Nottingham

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is approaching for the Conference on “Security and International Law” (Nottingham, 20-21 April 2012) and Pre-Conference MPhil/PhD Workshop on research methods in public and private international law (Nottingham, 19 April 2012). The International Law Association (ILA) British Branch invites…

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Rome Statute at 20: Suggestions to States to Strengthen the ICC

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC, Court), the world’s only permanent tribunal with a mandate to investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. The…

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Post-Buenos Aires: Tackling Fisheries Subsidies Contributing to IUU Fishing through Unilateral Trade Measures?

At the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in Buenos Aires in December 2017, Members failed to reach an agreement on discipline aimed at eliminating fisheries subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Instead, they decided to continue the negotiations on…

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After a Brief Hiatus, Kenya Once Again Has Universal Jurisdiction Over Pirates

 Jon Bellish is a Project Officer at the Oceans Beyond Piracy project just outside Denver, Colorado, though the views expressed are solely those of the author. You can follow him on Twitter. On October 18, the Kenyan Court of Appeal in Nairobi…

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Saar Papier v Poland: Comparative Public Law and the Second-Ever Investment Treaty Award

            Jarrod Hepburn is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter, UK. There has been much discussion in recent years – and in recent weeks on this blog – of the potential for investment treaty arbitration to benefit from a…

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Immunity and International Criminal Tribunals

Earlier this week, the Trial Chamber at International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) hearing the case against Radovan Karadzic issued a decision in which it stated that "According to customary international law, there are some acts for which immunity from prosecution cannot be invoked before…

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