EJIL Analysis

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France’s Highest Court Confirms Universal Jurisdiction

In November 2021, the Criminal Chamber of the French Cour de cassation, shocked the international criminal law community (see here and here) by considering that French courts did not have jurisdiction over crimes against humanity committed in Syria because Syria was not party to the Rome Statute and did not criminalise crimes against humanity as such in its domestic legal framework. Thankfully the plenary assembly of the Cour de cassation reversed that decision last month in the Nema and Chaban cases. The French universal jurisdiction framework The French universal jurisdiction framework is complex and depends on the crimes prosecuted. France transposed the 1984 Convention against Torture, the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) differently into its domestic system. For the crimes of torture and enforced disappearance, French courts are competent as soon as the suspect is on French territory when the…

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Summit of Fire and Ice 4th: Council of Europe Summit, Reykjavík

Iceland is known as “the land of fire and ice.”  Its dramatic volcanoes are constantly and rapidly shaping a new complexion in the north-west European island state, whilst its seemingly unchanging glaciers slowly and stubbornly carve through the landscape. Fire and ice are words that also come to mind when one reflects on the historic…

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Ukraine’s Involvement in Cross-Border Raids by Russian Paramilitary Groups: Illegal Use of Force and Intervention or Lawful Self-Defence?

On 22 May 2023, two Russian paramilitary groups – the Liberty of Russia Legion (LSR) and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) – conducted a cross-border raid from Ukrainian territory into the Belgorod region of Russia. After briefly ‘liberating’ some border villages, the fighters were forced to retreat on to Ukrainian territory again. This was not the first such…

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Two Weeks in Review, 8 May – 21 May 2023

Pedro A. Villarreal explores the recent WHO declaration on COVID-19 no longer constituting a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Villarreal addresses the legal consequences brought upon by the end of a PHEIC and sheds light on the lack of concrete and clear criteria for doing so.  The author notes that input from medicine and public health…

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The Moscow Mechanism Expert Report on the Forcible Transfer and Deportation of Ukrainian Children

Before Spring 2022, only the real connoisseurs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were familiar with the so-called Moscow Mechanism enabling any OSCE participating State to request the establishment of an ad hoc expert mission to investigate specific questions related to the OSCE human dimension. In the first thirty years of…

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