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Beyond COP26: Time for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change?

The recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) provided a stark reminder of the gap between states’ planned greenhouse emission reductions and the global temperature goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement. The conference also dramatically showcased once more the plight of vulnerable nations faced with the devastating impacts of rising sea levels and extreme weather events. In almost three decades, international climate change law – as enshrined in the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement – struggled to deliver convincing solutions to either problem. As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, addressing these glaring gaps in international cooperation is more urgent than ever. In 2019, Desierto called upon ‘the invisible college of international lawyers’ to devote more efforts ‘towards reviving the blunt edge’ of litigation, adjudication, and arbitration, in order to help tackle the climate emergency. Over the years, there has been much speculation on the possibility to resort to international courts’ contentious or advisory jurisdiction,…

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Will the Taliban Represent Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly?

The work of the Credentials Committee of the General Assembly is normally procedural. Typically, the Committee reviews the credentials submitted by state representatives, and ensures they comply with the Assembly’s procedural rules.  The Committee is scarcely ever called upon to consider matters of government legitimacy.  In stark contrast to this status quo, it seems this year’s…

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Could the General Assembly Exclude Myanmar from the UN by Refusing to Recognise the Credentials of its Ruling Military Junta?

Earlier this month, Myanmar’s military seized power from the democratically elected government in a dramatic coup d’état.  State Counsellor Aung San Suy Kyi was arrested alongside other government ministers, parliamentarians and activists.  The military’s Commander-in-Chief, who a UN Fact-Finding mission said in 2018 should be prosecuted for crimes under international law, is running the country.    …

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The Interests of Justice- where does that come from? Part II

Editor's Note: This is part II of a two-part post. Read part I here. After tracing the drafting history of article 53 of the Statute in part I of this post, part II is dedicated to the consequences that may be drawn from the relevant drafting history for the application of the “interests of justice”…

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The Interests of Justice- where does that come from? Part I

There has been much debate about the decision issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II rejecting the request by the Office of the Prosecutor to open an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan because such an investigation would not serve “the interests of justice”. Despite the recent surge in academic interest in this criterion, which appears in…

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