International Court of Justice

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The Glas Case: Diplomatic Asylum Returns to the ICJ?

All opinions expressed in this blog post are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization. On 5 April 2024, in the middle of the night, law enforcement agents of the Republic of Ecuador broke into the Mexican Embassy in Quito and apprehended Jorge David Glas Espinel, former Vice President of Ecuador. Glas had been sentenced to six years imprisonment and, when faced with new criminal proceedings, sought asylum in the Mexican diplomatic mission, which was granted pending the conferral of territorial asylum in Mexico. In its public statement following the raid, Ecuador described the granting of diplomatic asylum to Glas as an abuse of privileges and immunities, entitling it to proceed to the apprehension of the asylee. The raid on the Embassy is the culmination of escalating tensions between Ecuador and Mexico, which started over comments made by the Mexican Government regarding Ecuador’s elections, leading to the Mexican Ambassador in Quito being declared persona non grata and expelled. In response to…

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The Recent Genocide Cases and Public Interest Litigation: A Complicated Relationship

Here we go again! On 1 March 2024, Nicaragua instituted proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ, the Court) against Germany for complicity in genocide. This marks another development in a series of disputes pending before the Court in the last four years, where it is asked to decide on whether a State has committed genocidal…

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Third-Party “Provisional Countermeasures”: A Proposal to Give Teeth to Provisional Measures

Compliance with the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures orders has been low and appears to be decreasing, as underscored by the recent cases of Israel and Syria. So, attention is again turning to whether the measures can be enforced. Most commentary has focused…

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Still Valid: Provisional Measures in Ukraine v. Russia (Allegations of Genocide)

Problem The journey of the Ukraine v. Russia (Allegations of Genocide) dispute has generated much controversy as to perceived and real shifts in the ICJ’s approach. Let’s dissect this further. In its Provisional Measures (PM) Order of 16 March 2022, the ICJ, based on what has been characterised its ‘…

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Legal Standard for Genocide Intent: An Uphill Climb for Israel in Gaza Suit

A critical issue in South Africa’s case against Israel for genocide in Gaza is the required intent to destroy a group, or at least a portion of a group. The International Court of Justice has said already that it is plausible that Israel harbored such intent. (Order, 1/26/24) If the case proceeds to the merits, the Court will…

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