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The European Union’s Sanctioning of Russian Military Officers: An Urge for Caution

Introduction As of 21 July 2022, the European Union (EU) has adopted seven rounds of restrictive measures (commonly referred to as ‘sanctions’) against the Russian Federation following its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The latest two rounds (adopted on 3 June and 21 July 2022, respectively) – in addition to containing measures aimed at harming Russia’s economy – target certain Russian military officers with asset freezes and EU entry bans. Notably, those listed on 3 June were described by the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen as ‘high-ranking military officers and other individuals who committed war crimes in Bucha and who are responsible for the inhuman siege of the city of Mariupol’. Notwithstanding the abundance of evidence indicating the perpetration of international crimes by Russian forces in Bucha, Mariupol (at p. 36) and elsewhere, the sanctions’ assertion of international criminal responsibility prior to any judicial process for many of those listed is problematic from the perspective of international law. Following an analysis…

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Mass Intervention?: The Joint Statement of 41 States on Ukraine v. Russia

On 20 May 2022, 41 states and the EU issued a Joint Statement regarding the pending ICJ proceedings in Ukraine v. Russia. The Joint Statement indicates that the signatories agree “to explore all options to support Ukraine in its efforts before the ICJ and to consider a possible intervention in these proceedings”. One of the signatories, Romania, had…

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The European Commission’s proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence: two paradoxes

On 23 February 2022, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (proposal). The proposal has already attracted much scholarly and stakeholder commentary. In this blog we focus on two significant issues not yet addressed. First, the proposal does not  refer to European regional human rights instruments such as the…

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A first insight into the EU proposal for a Directive on countering violence against women and domestic violence

On 8. March 2022, the European Commission launched the long-awaited proposal for a Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence (the EU proposal or draft Directive). The proposal overtly declares to fill a gap in EU law, where there is no act specifically addressing VAW and DV (several instruments respond to specific aspects, such as…

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The EU Ban of RT and Sputnik: Concerns Regarding Freedom of Expression

On 2 March, the EU imposed sanctions against RT and Sputnik (Russian state-owned media outlets) because ‘RT and Sputnik are essential and instrumental in bringing forward and supporting Russia’s aggression against Ukraine’ In this essay, I wish to discuss whether the ban of these outlets in the EU is…

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