Council of Europe

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ICJ Indicates Provisional Measures Against Russia, in a Near Total Win for Ukraine; Russia Expelled from the Council of Europe

This afternoon the International Court of Justice, by 13 votes to 2, issued its order on provisional measures in the case brought by Ukraine against Russia under the Genocide Convention. The Court essentially accepted all of the arguments made by Ukraine for the purposes of the provisional measures stage of the proceeding, and rejected those in Russia’s submission to the Court that followed its non-appearance. Some key takeaways – first, the language that the Court uses is often very direct, going out of its way to make points that it was not legally required to make but were required by the necessity of the moment. For example, in para 18: The Court is profoundly concerned about the use of force by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, which raises very serious issues of international law. The Court is mindful of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and of its own responsibilities in the maintenance of international peace and security as well as in the peaceful settlement…

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Russia’s Submission to the ICJ in the Genocide Case; Russia’s Withdrawal from the Council of Europe

A quick update on two important developments. First, the ICJ has put up on its website a submission it received from the Russian Federation in the Ukraine v. Russia genocide case, in which the Court’s provisional measures decision is pending. Because Russia has declined to participate in the proceedings – at least for now –…

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Putin’s War against Ukraine: Mocking International Law

Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an obvious violation of international law. Neither self-defense nor the entirely baseless accusation of a purported “genocide” in Eastern Ukraine serves as a sufficient legal basis and any Ukrainian concessions would be legally invalid. Russia has created a new and utterly sad textbook example of a violation of the prohibition of war –…

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Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention by Turkey: A Testing Problem for the Council of Europe

On Saturday 20 March 2021, Turkey woke up to a historic first – the announcement of its first withdrawal from a human rights treaty by the President. A presidential decision declared that Turkey was leaving the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This is the convention better known, most ironically,…

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The Whos, the Whats, and the Whys of the Derogations from the ECHR amid COVID-19

 Issues concerning the derogation form the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’ or the ‘Convention’) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the question whether the notification is a pre-requisite for making a valid derogation, have been examined in other EJIL:Talk! posts here, here, and here. This post attempts to provide a more detailed account of the…

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