International Court of Justice

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The Disputes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan: The CERD Compromissory Clause as a One-way Ticket to Hague

Introduction In September 2021, Armenia and Azerbaijan lodged each against the other an application before the International Court of Justice (Court) (ArA and AzA). Both applications refer to alleged breaches of the 1966 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), using its compromissory clause (Article 22) to establish the Court’s jurisdiction, and request provisional measures (PM). Hearings on PMs took place on 14-15 and 18-19 October 2021. Besides a short description, I do not assess the applications (and PM requests) as such; Mike Becker did a terrific job at this. Instead, through these applications I discuss the trend of using compromissory clauses to litigate a fragment of broader conflicts, engaging other international legal sources. In a recent study (Rivista di Diritto Internazionale, 2021) I made, essentially, three claims. By pushing broader conflicts through specific treaty-based allegations: States seek less to solve the conflicts, than use the Court to score political points (domestically) and broadcast remonstrations (internationally); this strategy is lawful, but erodes…

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Vacancies at the ICJ: Yes, there is a special practice, and it has to cease

In Is There a Special Practice Antonios Tzanakopoulos has written a very learned post seeking to dispel the notion that there is an expectation on the part of states that a casual vacancy on the International Court of Justice caused either by the death or resignation of a sitting judge should result in the election of a…

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A Commentary on the Dispute Concerning the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya)

On 12 October 2021, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its long-awaited judgment in the case of Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya) on the location of the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya. Kenya refused to participate in the oral proceedings on the merits, as discussed here and here.

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Casual Vacancies in the ICJ: Is There a Special Practice?

This blog has regularly published comment on legal issues that emerge in the context of elections to the Bench of the ICJ. For any scholar of the Court, these matters are exciting and interesting, not to mention surrounded by a certain amount of bewilderment as to ‘unwritten rules’, ‘expectations’, ‘customs’, and ‘practices’…

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Editorial: Germany v Italy: Jurisdictional Immunities – Redux (and Redux and Redux)

Will we ever see closure to this saga at the center of which one finds the somewhat controversial decision of the ICJ of 2012 and the very controversial decision of the Italian Constitutional Court of 2014 rebuffing that decision? There is no need to recap fully the endless ‘puntatas’ in this story which have been followed…

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