International Law and Domestic Law

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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 particular parts is to breach international law - albeit "in a specific and limited way"! More specifically, the legislation, if adopted, will give UK ministers powers to adopt regulations which violate the Withdrawal Agreement entered into between the European Union and the UK less than a year ago.  The podcast team discusses the reasons the UK government has put this Bill forward at this point in time, noting how rare it is for a state not only to admit to breaking international law before actually doing so, but to actually give its executive organs powers that are explicitly aimed at doing so.  The discussion turns to whether there are any international legal…

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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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The Duties of a Government International Legal Adviser

Although we may not like to be reminded of it, international lawyers start out as domestic lawyers. When being admitted to practice in a particular jurisdiction, we are taught that lawyers owe duties not only to clients, but also to domestic courts and the interests of justice (‘institutional duties’). These institutional duties are hierarchically superior: faced with a…

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The Dutch Prosecution’s Opening Statement in the MH-17 Trial: What Lies Beyond the Horizon?

On 9 March 2020, the Dutch Prosecution made its opening statement in the much anticipated MH-17 Trial, dealing with the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine and the deaths of its 298 passengers. In doing so, the Prosecutor Ward Ferdinandusse shed light on some of the legal questions that arose…

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