International Humanitarian Law

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The Occupation of Gaza in the ICJ Palestine Advisory Opinion

As I noted in my first post on the ICJ Palestine AO, the Court has held that the law of occupation, at least to some extent, continues to apply in Gaza. In this post I will examine the Court’s holding and reasoning more closely. Readers will be aware that the question whether Gaza remained occupied after Israel’s 2005 disengagement has been very controversial. Painting with a very broad brush, many academic experts, states, various international bodies and NGOs, including the ICRC, have argued that Gaza remained occupied, due to Israel’s control of Gaza’s borders and other ways of projecting its power within the territory. Other experts, including many from military backgrounds, have argued that occupation requires boots on the ground and that, after its disengagement, Israel had no effective control over Gaza, with its adversary, Hamas, eventually assuming such control. (For more background, see this post of mine from 15 years ago examining the debate, another post looking at a relevant judgment of the European…

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ICJ Delivers Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian Territories

Yesterday, the International Court of Justice delivered its groundbreaking advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. (The Court’s opinion and all of the individual opinions of the judges are available here.) The bottom line of the AO is that the…

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The German reform of war crimes against the environment – A missed opportunity to live up to the principle of legality

On June 6th, the German legislator, the Bundestag, adopted a new law reforming the German international criminal code (CCIAL / Völkerstrafgesetzbuch). The adoption of the reform law (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Fortentwicklung des Völkerstrafrechts) was preceded by a number of discussions initially not foreseen when the reform was first introduced in November 2023. The new reform…

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Some Additional Comments on the ECtHR Crimea Judgment: Occupation, Sovereignty, and “Law”

Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou’s excellent post comprehensively examines the European Court’s judgment in Ukraine v. Russia re Crimea. In this post, however, I want to offer some additional comments on the judgment. My main purpose here is to discuss how the Court approached the question of territorial sovereignty over Crimea and its status as an…

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The Legality of ASPIDES Protection Activities in the Framework of the Collective Countermeasures Doctrine

Any views and opinions presented in this post are solely those of the author and are expressed exclusively in the author’s personal capacity. Note by the Editors: This post has been amended (three sentences were deleted and several minor edits were made) subsequent to publication at the author’s request, none of which affect the substance…

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