Genocide

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A Political Question Doctrine at the International Court of Justice? 

At the end of January 2024, the US District Court in Northern California applied the political question doctrine to dismiss a suit brought against the US President and the Secretary of Defense based on alleged violations of international law. The Plaintiffs, a group of Palestinian human rights organizations and activists including Defense for Children International-Palestine and Al-Haq, alleged that the US government breached its duty to prevent genocide: “by providing diplomatic, financial, and military support to Israel, are complicit in Israel’s purported commission of genocide, in violation of Article III(e) [of the Genocide Convention] and its implementing legislation, which makes genocide a federal crime”. The Plaintiffs sought an injunction enjoining the provision of any further military or financial support or any form of assistance to Israel by the United States. The District Court went on to extensively cite the recent order on provisional measures of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa…

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Decoding Nicaragua’s Historic Request to Intervene in South Africa v Israel

Days before anyone could even read it, Nicaragua’s application to intervene under Article 62 of the ICJ Statute in South Africa v Israel made headlines around the world. To most observers, this intervention may recall those filed in Ukraine v Russia, another Genocide Convention case in…

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“Not All Scripts Come with One Voice”: Variations in State Responses to South Africa v Israel

This post examines responses to the ICJ 26 January Order on provisional measures (‘Order’) in South Africa v Israel by States in the West that regularly claim to subscribe to a so-called “rules-based international order”, a concept coined to replace the much more precise concept of international law, explained to the point by John Dugard…

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Appeals Judgment in Case concerning the Shipment from the Netherlands of Parts for F-35 Fighter Aircraft to Israel

Introduction On 12 February, the Appeals Court of the Hague in the Netherlands handed down its judgment in a case concerning the shipment of U.S. owned spare parts for F-35 fighter aircraft from a warehouse in the Netherlands to Israel (see here, only available in Dutch). The Court of Appeal held that the…

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When the Reasons are More Telling than the Ruling: The Order of the ICJ in South Africa v. Israel

A veil of discontent wraps the order of the ICJ of January 26. The Court disappointed those who consider that the determination prima facie of the violation of the Genocide Convention should have logically entailed the more radical measure of the cessation of military actions, as in the Ukraine v. Russia case; they presented the operative part of…

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