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The Weakest Link of the Troika? The Immunity of Heads of Government in Customary International Law

There have been a flurry of cases in the English courts concerning foreign leaders in recent months. Permission has been granted to serve the President of Mozambique in a case involving claims challenging state guarantees of the financing for projects in Mozambique. The Fifth President of Ukraine (2014-2019) Petro Poroshenko has been found to be immune from claims arising out of Ukraine’s nationalisation of PrivatBank. And on 6 October, a number of judgments were made public in the proceedings relating to the welfare of the two children of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (“AM”), the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (“Princess Haya”). In this post I comment on the newly-released judgments on immunities. But I note that there is much of interest in all of the judgments, including the finding in one strand of these complex proceedings that AM used NSO Pegasus to hack the mobile phones of Princess…

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A Dangerous Convergence: The Inevitability of Mass Surveillance in European Jurisprudence

Recent Grand Chamber judgments in Big Brother Watch and Others v. United Kingdom and Centrum för Rättvisa v. Sweden held that some aspects of the UK’s and Sweden’s domestic surveillance regimes violated Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”). Despite the findings of violation…

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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…

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The EU Judiciary After Weiss – Proposing A New Mixed Chamber of the Court of Justice: A Reply to Our Critics

A few weeks ago, we published a proposal, in the form of a Position Paper, for the creation of a Mixed Chamber at the Court of Justice as a means, in part, of addressing the issues highlighted by the May 5th Weiss decision of the German Constitutional Court. This Chamber, to be composed of sitting members of the…

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Could International Law Stop a No-Deal Brexit?

At the time of writing – less than 3 weeks until the current ‘Brexit day’ of 31 October 2019 -  all options relating to the UK’s departure from the European Union appear to be on the table. Leaving with a deal, ‘crashing out’, not leaving at all, or anything in between seem equally possible. Much attention has been…

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