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The EU boycott of Russian scientists and the right to science in the shadow of Ukraine’s invasion

The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine has brought back the issue of scientific freedom and the protection of scientists developing military technology. The day after the invasion, Germany froze bilateral science partnerships with the Russian Federation. A slew of European countries quickly followed suit, and some restrictions have been expanded to include Belarus. Russia’s participation in Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020, the European Union’s flagship science grant programs, was also suspended—a measure still in place as 2023 begins. Should Russian scientists’ freedom of research be guaranteed in the shadow of the military invasion of Ukraine? Or should Russian scientists be subjected to the sanctions and boycotts targeting the Russian Federation? In this writing, I tackle two questions. The first focuses on whether military science falls within the scope of Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which codifies was has come to be known as the human right to science and the duty “to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.”…

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Tilting the Playing Field

“Levelling the playing field” has been one of the buzzwords of the European Union (EU)’s external economic policy over the last few years. In essence, through various instruments including free trade agreements, the EU has been trying to ensure that foreign entities, goods and services are subject to similar regulatory burdens as their EU counterparts when engaging in…

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The EU’s Inconsistent Approach towards Sustainability Treaties: Due diligence legislation v. trade policy

In February 2022 the European Commission launched a proposal for an EU corporate sustainability due diligence directive (‘CSDDD proposal’). Companies will be mandated, under threat of sanctions, to monitor adverse impacts that may arise throughout their value chain from violations of a series of sustainability treaties: that is, treaties on human rights, labor and the environment. These…

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A Little Threat from My Friends: An EU-based Company Contemplates Taking War-Torn Ukraine to Investment Arbitration

On 18 August 2022, the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine (ESBU) seized the assets of one of Ukraine’s largest fuel retailers, AMIC Ukraine, the local subsidiary of AMIC Energy, an Austrian private equity firm. The Ukrainian authorities acted on charges of tax fraud, money laundering, and – above all – the company’s alleged connection…

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Is the EU realizing an externally just green transition? A short analysis of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism from the perspective of the CBDR principle and the right to development of LDCs.

The EU is on track to adopting by the end of this year the regulation establishing the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) with the trialogues (informal negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council, involving the Commission, during which a common approach to a legal act is agreed, based on amendments proposed by both co-legislators) currently taking…

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