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Update on ECtHR Interim Measures Concerning Russia and Ukraine

This afternoon the European Court interpreted and reinforced the Rule 39 interim measures it had previously issued against Russia regarding the war in Ukraine, in response to additional requests made by Ukraine. Here’s the press release, with the title ‘Expansion of interim measures in relation to Russian military action in Ukraine,’ which bears careful reading. Some interesting points emerge, the main one being the rather fluid boundary between the Court’s interpretation of existing measures and the addition or expansion of the measures. While Ukraine made several requests that the Court should make new measures regarding Russia’s use of specific weapons and methods of warfare, the Court declined to do so by saying that the measures requested were included in those already given: Having regard to the requests and the information submitted by the Ukrainian Government, the Court reiterates its interim measure of 1 March 2022 in which it indicated to the Government of the Russian Federation to refrain from military attacks…

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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,…

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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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