International Organisations

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International Organizations as Creators of International Law: A Good Thing? A Reply to Jan Klabbers

It has long been accepted that international organizations have rights and duties under international law. They can enter into treaties, incur international responsibility, and pursue claims against member and non-member states for violations of international law. Whether and when international organizations also play a direct role in the creation of customary international law is a question that, until recently, garnered very little attention. In the current issue of EJIL, I argue that international organizations can and do so play such a role in two sets of circumstances. The first is customary international law that regulates interactions between states and international organizations as well as among international organizations—that is, topics like immunity, treaties to which international organizations are parties, and the responsibility of international organizations under international law. The second is when international organizations engage in the same kinds of activities that states engage in and run the risk of incurring international responsibility, just like states do. Thus, for example, through its activities related to peacekeeping, the United Nations can contribute to international humanitarian law.

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The First Report of the OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team on Syria

In April 2020, the Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) formed by the Director General of the Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic released its First Report (First IIT Report). The IIT was established pursuant to a decision of the Conference…

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Covid-19 as a threat to international peace and security: The role of the UN Security Council in addressing the pandemic

On 1 July 2020 – 111 days after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic – the UN Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2532. Recognising that the unprecedented extent of the novel coronavirus pandemic “is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security”, the Security Council “demands” a general and immediate…

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The second chapter on a national security exception in WTO law: the panel report in Saudi Arabia – Protection of IPR

Introduction For many decades, national security exceptions had been dealt with only in rare instances, under the GATT 1947 regime as well as under the law of the WTO. The scope and design of the national security exception of Art. XXI GATT 1947 which served as a model for Art. XIV bis GATS and Art. 73 TRIPS has…

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Sovereign (over)borrowing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Do creditors have a responsibility to prevent unsustainable debt situations?

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has prompted across the world massive state intervention for the containment and management of the epidemic, and the mitigation of its socio-economic consequences. The measures so far adopted by many countries are not only indispensable to avert a dramatic deterioration of living conditions (especially for women and the most vulnerable)…

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