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Russia’s Recognition of the ‘Separatist Republics’ in Ukraine was Manifestly Unlawful

The rush to judgment can be deceptive. A recent contribution to these pages cautions us against making instant assumptions of fact and law when considering Russia’s recognition as states of parts of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts within Ukraine as manifestly unlawful. Two questions arise: Do the Oblasts meet the criteria of statehood and, if so, was this status achieved through a sufficiently serious violation of international law to warrant the application of the obligation of non-recognition? As the Badinter Commission noted, in the first place ‘the existence or disappearance of the state is a question of fact.’ (Badinter Opinion No. 1, 20 November 1991, para 1 (a), 31 ILM 1488, 1494). The two Oblasts declared independence in 2014, in the context (and most would say, in consequence of) the Russian armed intervention of that year. Their purported statehood did not attract any significant international acceptance, including up to this point even by the Russian Federation.

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An International Law Assessment of the Collective Self-defence Clause of the 2021 Treaty on the ‘Establishment of Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in Matters of Defence and Security’ between Greece and France

On 28 September 2021 France and Greece concluded a bilateral treaty on the ‘Establishment of Strategic Partnership of Cooperation in Matters of Defence and Security’ (see the Greek and French version here. The Treaty has not been translated yet into English). The Treaty is premised on a community of interests in matters of foreign policy, defence, and…

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Complicity in war crimes through (legal) arms supplies?

  German and other corporations whose arms were used in the war in Yemen have been accused of criminally assisting war crimes. The Berlin-based NGO European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) filed a complaint (a “communication”) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) making this claim with regard to a series of multinational arms companies. But…

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Appealing the High Court’s Judgment in the Public Law Challenge against UK Arms Export Licenses to Saudi Arabia

In May of this year, the Court of Appeal granted leave to appeal the 2017 High Court ruling in Campaign Against the Arms Trade v Secretary of State for International Trade. The case and the High Court’s 2017 judgment have already received some commentary (see here). Simply put, the case concerns a public law challenge…

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What on Earth is Happening to Space Law?

In 2015 and 2017, respectively, the United States of America and Luxembourg enacted bills granting property rights on resources collected in outer space. The potential beneficiaries of these laws are hi-tech companies investing in the exploration and exploitation of space resources. Even though robotized mining of precious metals, rare earths and other raw materials on the Moon or on…

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