EJIL Analysis

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Trivia: State Leaders Appearing Before the International Court of Justice

Last week Friday, Sir Keir Starmer KC assumed office as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom following the decisive victory of his Labour Party in the UK's general election.  As the "KC" after his name indicates he is an accomplished lawyer. He had a very successful career as an English barrister, and as Director of Public Prosecutions of England and Wales, before entering into politics. I think it is fairly well known that Sir Keir appeared as counsel and advocate before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the merits phase of the Croatia Genocide Convention Case.  He argued before the Court over several days in March 2014 and you can view his initial appearance in that case here. In a previous trivia post (and in the comments thereto), it was noted that we have had a case of an ICJ judge subsequently becoming Prime Minister (Judge Al Khasawneh of Jordan), and of a Prime Minister subsequently becoming Judge ad hoc at the ICJ ( Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC  of…

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Proxy Countermeasures in International Law

Introduction  In the last few years, the term ‘collective countermeasures’ has at times been used to refer to two conceptually distinct claims. It has continued to be used to refer to the idea that a State other than an injured State, in the sense of Article 48 of the ILC Articles on State Responsibility, may take…

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The German reform of war crimes against the environment – A missed opportunity to live up to the principle of legality

On June 6th, the German legislator, the Bundestag, adopted a new law reforming the German international criminal code (CCIAL / Völkerstrafgesetzbuch). The adoption of the reform law (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Fortentwicklung des Völkerstrafrechts) was preceded by a number of discussions initially not foreseen when the reform was first introduced in November 2023. The new reform…

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Applications for Arrest Warrants in the Situation in Palestine: In Defence of the Legal Process

The recent announcement by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking arrest warrants for leaders of both Israel and Hamas has sent shockwaves through the region. Unlike last year’s similar action against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, which received widespread approval from Western states, the ICC Prosecutor’s application…

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The Satellite Era: How Earth Observation Data is Being Mobilized as Potential Digital Evidence

Public monitoring of ongoing conflicts, for example, in Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan, demonstrates the extent to which both human rights defenders and journalists increasingly rely upon earth observation data (EOD) to ascertain and substantiate facts on the ground. EOD is inclusive of data collected by satellites—such as satellite images,…

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