Armed Conflict

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The Mariupol Test: Analysing the Briefs of Third States Intervening in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The interstate case of Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia is currently pending on its merits before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. It is one of the most complex and politically momentous cases ever to be heard by the Court. Russia is no longer participating in the proceedings, and will not comply with any judgment rendered by the Court. This means that the immediate practical consequences of the judgment itself will be relatively limited, although I’m sure Ukraine will try to use it in various creative ways (for example, to justify the seizure of frozen Russian assets for any reparation that Ukraine is due, and the transfer of such assets by third states to Ukraine). The judgment will also have a symbolic, expressive impact. It may also bring some measure of satisfaction to the victims of the human rights violations at issue. But, perhaps most importantly, the judgment will provide the most authoritative statement by the Court on how the European Convention should apply extraterritorially and in armed conflict in future…

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Nothing is certain but death and taxes (unless you get hacked): An international law perspective on Ukraine’s cyber attack against Russia’s Federal Tax Service

Talk about bad timing. This week, all international lawyers with a little more than passing interest in all things cyber have their eyes on – or are themselves in – New York. That’s because the UN “Cyber OEWG”, a shorthand for an open-ended working group with a much longer name, is in session to discuss,…

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The Obligation to Ensure Respect: A Role for All States to Play in Palestine

Introduction International humanitarian law (IHL) does not only oblige States who are directly engaged in an armed conflict to fulfil their obligation to respect its rules and principles during the conduct of hostilities and take measures to stop violations. IHL also places an obligation on all State Members to the Geneva Conventions to ensure respect and…

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Does Israel Have the Right to Defend Itself?

This is a deceptively simple question. It has several possible answers, each of which rests on different (and highly contested) assumptions. In this post I will try to explain what these possible answers are, and what are their implications. I don’t myself know what the ‘correct’ answer here is. It is not my intention to argue for one.

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Classifying the Gaza Conflict Under International Humanitarian Law, a Complicated Matter

This post examines which potential branch of international humanitarian law (IHL) is applicable to the hostilities that are currently ongoing in Gaza between Israeli armed forces and Hamas military wing: the law of international armed conflicts (IAC) or that of non-international armed conflicts (NIAC). Classifying these hostilities is a complicated matter which, ultimately, depends on whether Palestine enjoys…

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