Extraterritorial Application

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: A Primer

The massive airlift by the United States and its allies that followed the Taliban’s victory in the Afghan war had a remarkable feature: the Taliban not only did not interfere with it, but actively assisted it. After two decades of fighting the Taliban, the United States found in them unlikely partners willing to provide, for a limited time, the first line of security in the evacuation effort prompted by their own victory. That cooperation involved daily contacts between the US and the Taliban at various levels, as well as meetings between US generals in the field and the CIA director with Taliban leadership. It also involved the US military sharing intelligence information with its erstwhile adversaries, for the purpose of preventing attacks against the Kabul airport by even more extreme ISIS militants (one of which, on 26 August, tragically got through, killing almost 200 people). As General McKenzie explained at a press briefing: [W]e share versions of this information [about possible threats] with the…

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Children’s Rights and Climate Change at the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child: Pragmatism and Principle in Sacchi v Argentina

On 11 October 2021, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published its decisions in complaints brought against five states – Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey – by 16 child complainants under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the Child on a Complaints Procedure (OPIC).

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 12 – “No Licence to Kill”

In this episode, Marko Milanovic, Philippa Webb and I discuss the legal issues that arise from targeted killings conducted by states outside their territory. We begin with a discussion of the recent blockbuster judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case concerning Alexander Litvinenko (Carter v. Russia, no. 20914/07, 21 September 2021). In that…

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The Law and Tech of Two Targeted Killings

The New York Times recently published two fascinating pieces on two separate instances of targeted killings. The first is on the tragic denouement of the 20 years of US presence in Afghanistan – a drone strike conducted on 29 August by the US military in Kabul, purportedly against terrorists planning a second deadly attack against…

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European Court Finds Russia Assassinated Alexander Litvinenko

On Tuesday a Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights found Russia responsible for violating the right to life of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006 (Carter v. Russia, no. 20914/07, 21 September 2021). The Court found Article 2 ECHR to have been violated in both its substantive…

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