International Law and Domestic Law

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South Africa and the ICC Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

1. Introduction South Africa is again at the centre of controversy regarding the obligation to arrest a sitting head of state pursuant to an arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court. Previously, the South African government was held by both the ICC and domestic courts to have violated its international and domestic law obligations by failing to execute the ICC arrest warrant against then-President Bashir of Sudan during his visit to the 2015 AU Summit held in South Africa (see Dapo Akande’s discussion here). Now, President Putin has reportedly been invited to visit South Africa for the BRICS Summit in August 2023. Putin is currently the subject of an ICC arrest warrant for war crimes (see here and here). This contribution focusses on South African domestic law that will influence (but not necessarily determine) the Executive’s decision whether (i) to persist in inviting Putin to visit South Africa, and/ or (ii) to attempt to execute the ICC arrest warrant should he do so.

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Politicization of the 5G rollout: Litigation way for Huawei?

The Chinese government’s ambition to become the global leader in new technologies, manifested in state-led industrial policies such as Made in China 2025, has prompted a strong response. For example, the United States significantly tightened its export control regulations and expanded grounds for foreign direct investment screening. In turn,…

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Possible Implications of the Dutch MH17 Judgment for the Netherlands’ Inter-State Case before the ECtHR

On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down above eastern Ukraine, resulting in the death of all 298 persons on board. Eight years later, the victims’ next of kin as well as their respective governments are pursuing multiple avenues to achieve justice and accountability and establish…

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The MH17 Judgment: An Interesting Take on the Nature of the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

On 17 November 2022, some eight years after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (‘MH17’) was shot down in eastern Ukraine, the Hague District Court delivered a verdict against the four accused in the MH17 Trial: Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Leonid Kharchenko and Oleg Pulatov. The first three were found guilty of the charged crimes – viz.,…

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Civil liability for violations of IHL: are the US and UK moving in opposite directions?

On 25 August 2022 the US Department of Defense published its Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan (CHMR-AP), outlining a major three-year programme of institutional change in how the US deals with civilian harm occasioned by military operations. The plan was ordered by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in January following the release of…

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