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The Weakest Link of the Troika? The Immunity of Heads of Government in Customary International Law

There have been a flurry of cases in the English courts concerning foreign leaders in recent months. Permission has been granted to serve the President of Mozambique in a case involving claims challenging state guarantees of the financing for projects in Mozambique. The Fifth President of Ukraine (2014-2019) Petro Poroshenko has been found to be immune from claims arising out of Ukraine’s nationalisation of PrivatBank. And on 6 October, a number of judgments were made public in the proceedings relating to the welfare of the two children of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (“AM”), the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (“Princess Haya”). In this post I comment on the newly-released judgments on immunities. But I note that there is much of interest in all of the judgments, including the finding in one strand of these complex proceedings that AM used NSO Pegasus to hack the mobile phones of Princess…

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The Gambia v Facebook: Obtaining Evidence for Use at the International Court of Justice (Part II)

[The first installment of this post provided an overview of the court’s decision in The Gambia v Facebook and identified some problematic aspects of the decision.] As discussed in the first installment of this post, a US federal court has ordered Facebook to disclose to The Gambia materials relating to anti-Rohingya hate speech and incitement…

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The Gambia v Facebook: Obtaining Evidence for Use at the International Court of Justice (Part I)

On September 22, 2021, a US magistrate judge ordered Facebook to disclose materials relating to the perpetration of ethnic hatred against the Rohingya Muslim-minority in Myanmar. The application was made by The Gambia, which seeks further evidence to support its claims in the pending action against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Facebook…

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Passing the Buck? The UN Security Council’s Undue Reliance on ASEAN to Defuse the Myanmar Crisis

After the UN Special Envoy's highly-charged report to the UN Security Council of "widespread, systematic attacks on civilians in Myanmar" and the continuum of unabated atrocities against peaceful protesters, children, journalists, among other unarmed victims of Myanmar's rapid descent away from democracy towards 'failed state' status, it is readily observable that the 10…

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Myanmar: Testing the Democratic Norm in International Law

It is official now: history does repeat itself. In 1990, the military regime in Burma, now Myanmar, held elections. To their surprise, the democratic opposition in the shape of the National League of Democracy (NLD) achieved an overwhelming victory. This happened despite the fact that they had taken the precaution of keeping the leader of the NLD, Daw…

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