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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 – this submission is the most formal statement of Russia’s various legal positions publicly available (see also Bill Schabas’ post from yesterday on Ukraine’s arguments in the case). Second, Russia announced its imminent withdrawal from the Council of Europe, inevitably to be accompanied by a denunciation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Some key takeaways from Russia’s ICJ submission, which bears careful reading. Most of the arguments are anticipated and at the very least reasonable. The key point is that Russia is denying that the Court has jurisdiction over any use of force issues since they fall outside the scope of the Genocide Convention and are not covered by the compromissiory clause in Article…

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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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Derogating to Deal with Covid 19: State Practice and Thoughts on the Need for Notification

In her blog post on EJIL: Talk! (9 April 2020), Dr Stevie Martin drew attention to an interesting development concerning States' measures to deal with Covid 19 and their impact on human rights. She discusses a decision of the England and Wales Court of Protection in which a judge appeared to find that the UK was…

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