International Organisations

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The far-reaching US proposals to amend the International Health Regulations at the upcoming 75th World Health Assembly: A call for attention

The upcoming 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) to be held in Geneva from 22-28th May 2022 will potentially adopt far-reaching amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR). The IHR is currently the most important multilateral treaty regulating the global architecture for health emergency, preparedness, response and resilience (HEPR architecture). The extensive amendments to the IHR have been initiated by the United States (US), listed as agenda item WHA75/18 for the 75th WHA. The amendments are already backed by 19 co-sponsor states and the EU.    As of yet, there has been almost no public awareness or debate of the substantial amendments to the IHR although the WHO Secretariat circulated the US initiative first in January 2022 to state parties. The US initiative contradicts the gist of a report by the WHO Director-General issued in November 2021 which sketched out some of the amendments now tabled by the US, but which also indicated that the IHR…

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Setting the Cat amongst Pigeons: Kosovo’s Application for Membership of the Council of Europe

Kosovo is one of the few places in Europe not party to the European Convention on Human Rights due to a legacy conflict with Serbia. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 after a bloody war followed by a period of international administration, but this is strongly disputed by Serbia which claims exclusive sovereignty over the entire territory. The conflict…

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Is There a Legal Duty to Cooperate in Implementing Western Sanctions on Russia?

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, Europe and other allies imposed sanctions on Russia for violating the prohibition against the use of force, a peremptory norm owed to the international community as a whole. While the ability of these sanctions per se to put a swift end to Russia’s invasion has been doubted (see…

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“Friends of the court” making the most of Amicus Curiae with UN Treaty Bodies

The practice of submitting Third Party Interventions (TPIs) – also known as Amicus Curiae briefs - is well established in Commonwealth jurisdictions, and it has become common practice within regional mechanisms such as the Inter-American and European Courts of Human Rights, and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights. Similarly, most of the eight UN…

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The Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property eventually enters into force:  A new tool to the arsenal of international criminal law responses to the trafficking of cultural property

In the face of the dramatic events taking place over the last few weeks as a result of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine, it is hard to trace any positive developments in the field of international law. This being so, taking into account that cultural property is often a target during armed conflicts, either deliberately or as a…

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