EJIL Analysis

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The Luxembourg Court Rules on the Difference between States and Countries as International Law Actors

On 23 September 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) in Case T-370-19 Kingdom of Spain v. European Commission rendered a judgment that will surely become an important footnote in any textbook of public international law dealing with treaties and subjects. In this case, the GCEU ruled, among others, on whether certain acts by the EU in relation to Kosovo amounted to its recognition as a sovereign State, in particular the conclusion by the EU of international agreements with Kosovo and recognition by the EU of its representations in different EU mechanisms. Facts of the Case In 2019, the European Commission issued a decision by which it recognised that Kosovo’s National Regulatory Authority (NRA) could participate in the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The Commission treated Kosovo as a ‘third country’ within the meaning of Article 35(2) of Regulation 2018/1971 (EU Regulation). The decision to accept Kosovo’s NRA in BEREC was also based on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) that Kosovo has signed with…

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The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko Before the European Court of Human Rights

In more extraterritoriality news, the Guardian recently reported that the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London in 2006 by Russian agents using a radioactive poison, has revived the claim she had previously filed against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights: The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has submitted…

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Australian war crimes in Afghanistan: The Brereton Report

On Thursday 19 November Australia faced a reckoning with its recent past in Afghanistan.* Australian political culture approaches our armed forces with a great degree of deference and respect. Three of our last four Governors General have been, for example, senior military leaders. The Australian Defence Force support operations in respect of the January 2020 bushfires and the…

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The International Criminal Court Independent Expert Review: questions of trust and tenure

I have previously written on the Independent Expert Review (IER) of the International Criminal Court and its findings on questions of governance structure and culture. In this blog post I’d like to turn to two other running themes through the report: trust and tenure.* The problem of trust My previous post noted the…

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The Proposed Genocide Amendment to the UK Trade Bill: Paper Tiger or Self-Inflicted Wound?

Something is distinctly off with the UK’s engagement with public international law. Whether it be the Overseas Operations Bill, which last week passed its third reading in Parliament, in which the UK proposes to introduce a ‘triple lock’ designed to significantly curtail the circumstance in which members of the UK armed forces accused of committing war…

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