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Episode 5 of EJIL: The Podcast! “Breaking Bad – in a Specific and Limited Way”

In this episode of the podcast, Marko Milanovic, Sarah Nouwen, Philippa Webb and I analyse the Internal Market Bill which is currently going through the UK Parliament. The Bill is a remarkable piece of proposed legislation in that UK ministers, including the governments most senior legal advisers, admit that the aim of particular parts is to breach international law - albeit "in a specific and limited way"! More specifically, the legislation, if adopted, will give UK ministers powers to adopt regulations which violate the Withdrawal Agreement entered into between the European Union and the UK less than a year ago.  The podcast team discusses the reasons the UK government has put this Bill forward at this point in time, noting how rare it is for a state not only to admit to breaking international law before actually doing so, but to actually give its executive organs powers that are explicitly aimed at doing so.  The discussion turns to whether there are any international legal…

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Implementing Decisions of International Human Rights Institutions – Evidence from the United Nations Human Rights Committee: A Rejoinder to Ullmann and von Staden

Evaluating the effectiveness of institutions is a hard mission, and it causes numerous theoretical and methodological difficulties. This is especially true for evaluating the effectiveness of quasi-judicial institutions such as the United Nations Human Rights Committee (‘HRC’), as my 2019 EJIL article attempted to do. Therefore, first I would like to thank Andreas J. Ullmann and…

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The Duty to Derogate: Suspending Human Rights in a Very Limited and Specific Way?

Section 12 of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill currently making its way through the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to consider derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to certain overseas military operations. The duty is the product…

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Legislating by Soundbite: The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill

The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2019-2021, if passed, would provide a ‘triple lock’ to render ‘exceptional’ prosecutions for criminal offences allegedly committed by the armed forces overseas (outside the UK) more than five years ago; shorten the limitation periods for actions in tort and under the…

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The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill and the Irish Sea: risks of reciprocal application to the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict

The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill (as introduced) does not apply to legacy cases from the Northern Ireland conflict. Yet against the backdrop of similar cries of ‘witch hunt’ its introduction in 18 March 2020 was concurrent and explicitly linked to a Written Ministerial Statement on the same day. Through this the Secretary…

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