EJIL Analysis

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The Supreme Court of Ireland’s decision in Friends of the Irish Environment v Government of Ireland (“Climate Case Ireland”)

On 31 July 2020, the Supreme Court of Ireland quashed the government’s National Mitigation Plan, the centrepiece of the Irish government’s climate mitigation policy, because the Plan failed to specify the manner in which it was proposed to achieve the “national transition objective,” as required under the 2015 Climate Act. The “national transition objective” is defined by the 2015 Act as a “transition to a low carbon, climate resilient, and environmentally sustainable economy” by 2050. The Supreme Court’s judgment has correctly been described by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, David R Boyd, as a “landmark decision.” The case is one of a small number of high-profile “strategic” climate cases globally, in which the highest national court of a country has found that a government’s climate mitigation policies do not comply with the law. In December 2019, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled that the Netherlands has a positive obligation under the ECHR  to reduce its emissions by at least 25% by the…

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On Hezbollah, Huawei, Homosexuality, Sharon Stone and a Chainsaw: The Economic Normalization Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo

On September 4, 2020, an economic relations agreement was signed between Serbia and Kosovo, as part of efforts to resolve the long-standing dispute about Kosovo’s independence. It was brokered by the Trump administration and signed at the White House. President Trump called the agreement historic and its signatories – the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Minister…

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Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: options of monitoring, enforcing and remedy under the future EU legislation

In 2020 the EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders expressed a commitment to legislate mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence obligations for EU companies.  This commitment in turn flows from the EU and member states’ support for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which call for all businesses to undertake due…

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Professional Solidarity in Teaching: An Invitation to the ESIL Teaching Corner

At many different levels of social interaction, COVID-19 has emphasised the need to act in a spirit of solidarity. The disruptions in higher education raise challenges for teaching and our field as a whole. One of the goals of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) is to support the exchange of ideas on matters of common…

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Uses and abuses of authentic interpretations of international investment agreements: Reflections on the role of arbitral tribunals as masters of the judicial function

In their previous posts, Catharine Titi and Tarcisio Gazzini discussed some general aspects concerning authentic (joint) interpretations of international investment agreements. They brilliantly clarified aspects concerning the timing of joint interpretations as well as the murky difference between interpretations and amendments of investment treaties. This post will not delve into what was already explained by my…

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