International Law and Domestic Law

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Jam v IFC’s complications: the Pan-American Health Organization

The landmark judgment by the US Supreme Court in Jam v International Finance Corporation (IFC) has given rise to anxious reactions by US-based international organizations and generated a lively academic debate including at least three insightful comments on this blog (by respectively Diane Desierto here, Julian Arato here and Sachintha Dias here).  The case focused on the extent of jurisdictional immunities enjoyed by international organizations operating in the US under the 1945 International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA).  The IOIA grants international organizations “the same immunity from suit … as is enjoyed by foreign governments”, thus raising the question of the meaning of this legal equivalence in the light of the development of the law of foreign immunities since 1945 and in particular the exclusion of commercial activities from legal protection.  As readers will recall, the case was initiated by representatives of communities in Kerala (India) who were affected by the environmental impact of a power plant project funded by the IFC. Plaintiffs accused the IFC of negligence in inadequately…

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The Venezuelan Gold decision: recognition in the English Court of Appeal

The English Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment in Maduro Board v Guaidó Board [2020] EWCA Civ 1249, which considers who can lawfully give instructions to English financial institutions regarding assets of Venezuela held in England, given the dispute about who is the rightful president of Venezuela. This is an important decision which is…

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Episode 5 of EJIL: The Podcast! “Breaking Bad – in a Specific and Limited Way”

In this episode of the podcast, Marko Milanovic, Sarah Nouwen, Philippa Webb and I analyse the Internal Market Bill which is currently going through the UK Parliament. The Bill is a remarkable piece of proposed legislation in that UK ministers, including the governments most senior legal advisers, admit that the aim of…

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COVID-19, the right to education and Bangladesh

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a paradigm shift in the understanding of human rights jurisprudence. Like many other human rights, the right to education is now continuously being rethought and renegotiated within the constant pulls of statist economic priorities and public health emergencies. In the context of Bangladesh, these pulls are rather strong. The pandemic has penetrated…

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The relationship between domestic and international courts: the need to incorporate judicial politics into the analysis

In the latest issue of EJIL, Raffaela Kunz carefully examines the complex relationship between domestic and international courts in human rights adjudication. Amidst the well-known backlash from governments, she draws attention to the growing resistance of domestic high courts to decisions by their international counterparts as well as the main features of this resistance. Kunz traces how…

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