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The Moscow Mechanism Expert Report: On the Arbitrary Deprivation of Liberty of Ukrainian Civilians by the Russian Federation

Introduction When, in 1991, the Participating States of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CBSE) at their meeting in Moscow established the so-called Moscow Mechanism, nobody could have anticipated the pivotal role that this mechanism would have some three decades later in holding to account its “country of origin”, the Russian Federation. Yet, this is exactly what we have witnessed and continue to witness. While the first three decades of Mechanism’s existence, 1991-2021, were characterised by its very rare invocations, leading to some rumours of it becoming redundant, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the radical worsening of the human rights situation in the Russian Federation and its close “partner in crime”, Belarus, have completely revitalised and indeed revealed the true potential of the Moscow Mechanism, giving it a new lease of life. Since March 2022, the Mechanism has been activated already six times – four times with respect to the violations of international law committed during the conflict in Ukraine and twice concerning the human rights situation…

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Animal Welfare Beats Freedom of Religion

Sien Devriendt and Carla M. Zoethout have recently presented, in this blog, the ECtHR judgment of 13 February 2024 in Executief van de Moslims van België et al. v. Belgium (16760/22 et al.), welcoming the change in ethical thinking regarding animal welfare reflected in that judgment. In this post, which is based on a comment forthcoming, in…

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Panel of Experts Publishes Report Supporting ICC Arrest Warrant Applications for Crimes in Israel and Palestine

A Panel of Experts in International Law convened by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan KC, today announced its conclusions. The Panel was established at the Prosecutor’s request in support of his investigation into the ‘Situation in the State of Palestine’, which covers international crimes committed either on the territory of Palestine or by a…

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The United States’ Extended Continental Shelf and its Obligations under Article 82 of UNCLOS

Introduction In December 2023, the United States (US) Department of State released an Executive Summary with information about the outer limits of its extended continental shelf (ECS). Recently, both Russia and China reacted to this development. Their reactions rejected the notion that the US could claim an ECS without acceding to…

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Legal Advisors at the Iraq Inquiry, Part 1

Today was the start of an extraordinary week for assessing the impact international law had on the decision of the US, the UK and their allies in going to war with Iraq in 2003. The UK Iraq Inquiry today heard the testimony of Sir Michael Wood, the Foreign and…

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Moving Beyond the Asylum Muddle

The horrific images of refugees dying on European shores seem – finally – to have galvanized public opinion in favor of a shift to protection rather than deterrence. Some leaders seem still to be committed to harsh action – Hungarian Prime Minister Orban’s comment that the arrival…

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The Hole in the Doughnut – The OTP Strategic Plans and Self-Regulatory Actions in International Criminal Law

The past months have been turbulent at the ICC. The shower of critiques seems to have obscured that, although it is already April 2019, the OTP has not yet published its 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan is the main document through which the OTP publicizes its…

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Fresh Brains, and a Very Old One

Theodor Schilling, Dr. jur. utr. (University of Würzburg), LL.M. (Edin.), is extra-ordinary professor of public law at Humboldt University Berlin. Maria Aristodemou, in an article entitled “A Constant Craving for Fresh Brains and a Taste for Decaffeinated Neighbours” (EJIL 25 [2014]…

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Germany v. Italy: A View from the United States

Chimène I. Keitner is Associate Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, and Co-Chair of the ASIL International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group. In 2010, she represented amici Professors of Public International Law and Comparative Law in the…

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Ecuador v. United States Inter-State Arbitration under a BIT: How to Interpret the Word "Interpretation"?

There is an inter-State arbitration pending between Ecuador and the United States under the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between those two countries (Treaty between United States of America and the Republic of Ecuador Concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investment, 27 August 1993). The Ecuador v. US case ,…

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