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Can Libya Sue the UK on Recognition of the National Transitional Council?

Earlier this week, the UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague announced that the UK now recognises the Libyan National Transitional Council (the rebels fighting Colonel Gaddafi's forces) as the sole governmental authority in Libya. This was an implementation of the decision reached in the context of the Libya Contact Group meeting which I spoke about last week (see here). As part of the UK's decision, the UK has expelled those Libyan diplomats in the UK appointed by Gaddafi and has invited the Libyan NTC to appoint a new diplomatic envoy to the UK. As indicated in my previous post, one of the consequences of the recognition decision (and perhaps one of the drivers of the decision) is that the UK is willing to release some Libyan assets in the UK for use by the NTC. In particular, the UK is unfreezing £91 million belonging to a Libyan oil company which is controlled by the…

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Recognition of Libyan National Transitional Council as Government of Libya

On June 16, I wrote a post asking "Which Entity is the Government of Libya and Why does it Matter?" In that post, I explained that what appeared to be recognition by a number of States of the Libyan "rebel" National Transitional Council (NTC) as the government of…

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Which Entity is the Government of Libya and Why does it Matter?

 In the past couple of days, Germany and Canada have joined the group of countries that have declared that they consider the National Transitional Council (NTC) in to be the "legitimate representative" of the Libyan people. But what exactly does this mean? According…

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The Difference between Rhetoric and Reality: Why an Illegitimate Regime May Still be a Government in the Eyes of International Law

Stefan Talmon is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Oxford. The current situation in Libya provides a good example of grand political rhetoric meeting legal reality. Over the last fortnight the Qadhafi administration seems to have undergone a transformation from being the ‘Government of Libya’ to being an ‘illegitimate regime’. On 26 February…

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Has the United Kingdom De-Recognized Colonel Qadhafi as Head of State of Libya?

On 27 February 2011, it was reported in the media that the United Kingdom had revoked the diplomatic immunity of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi and his family (see here and here). Earlier that day, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, told BBC1`s Andrew Marr Show: ‘[...] the people of Libya have risen…

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