International Criminal Law

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How does the classification of armed conflict impact the protection of freshwater in Gaza?

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched ‘‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’’ – an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with ‘‘Operation Swords of Iron’’, aiming to remove hostile forces. Over the weeks, the Israel-Hamas conflict has escalated, leading to severe implications for access to freshwater in Gaza. Israel’s control over essential supplies, including those vital for water treatment, exacerbates the already dire freshwater situation in Gaza. Israeli’s Defense minister announces ‘‘complete siege’’ of Gaza, cutting off food, electricity, fuel, or water. Because of the lack of water supply, hospitals in Gaza face critical water shortages, resulting in deteriorating sanitary conditions and a heightened risk of infections. Even before the conflict, 90% of the population lacked direct access to clean water (A/HRC/48/43, para. 47), with 96% of Gaza’s water considered unsafe. The scarcity of clean water has far-reaching and devastating consequences and elevates the risk of waterborne diseases, exacerbates poor hygiene conditions in overcrowded makeshift shelters…

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The Responsibility of Syria under the Convention Against Torture before the ICJ

With the oral proceedings and marathon round of interventions over the past two weeks on the preliminary objections in the Allegations of Genocide (Ukraine v Russia) case (on which, see the excellent summary here), one might forget that the International Court of Justice will be in session again from 10 October to hear pleadings in yet…

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Territorial Jurisdiction at the International Criminal Court for Deportation Across the High Seas

There is a lacuna in the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) jurisprudence on jurisdiction for the transboundary crime against humanity of deportation. The issue is whether the deportation of victims across the high seas into the territory of a Rome Statute state party falls within the ICC’s territorial jurisdiction. The ICC’s leading decisions —arising from Bangladesh/Myanmar— appear to point…

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The Prosecutor’s New Policy on ‘Cyber Operations’ before the International Criminal Court (and its Implications for Ukraine): Some Preliminary Reflections

In late August, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Karim A. A. Khan, published a little-noticed op-ed with Foreign Policy Analytics discussing the potential for the ICC to prosecute ‘cyberattacks’ as international crimes pursuant to the Rome Statute (RS). A cyberattack, according to the Tallinn Manual 2.0, is a ‘cyber operation,…

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Three Legal Questions Arising From Reported Practices of Enforced Disappearance in Russian-Occupied Ukrainian Territories

This week, on August 30, the international community observed the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance. Enforced disappearance places victims outside of the protection of the law in a state of complete vulnerability. It is a fundamental denial of human rights that directly victimises those disappeared, subjects their families to uncertainty…

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