Security Council

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United in What? Some reflections on the Security Council’s sovereignty rhetoric in the latest Syria resolutions

The Security Council’s (SC) decision-making process on the renewal of humanitarian assistance for Syria caused a lot of unease amongst observers of the situation. Only a day after the previous aid program had expired, could a new agreement on the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people be reached. While the debates leading up to the renewal raised plenty of humanitarian concerns, how the SC members addressed Syria’s sovereignty is particularly noteworthy with regard to international law as a whole. It reveals that when the SC members are talking sovereignty, they are talking past each other. The reason for this lies not only in the UN Charter (UNCh), but ultimately also in the concept of sovereignty itself. A clash of views in the Security Council Since the first SC mandate for the delivery of cross-border humanitarian aid to Syria in 2014, the decisions to renew the aid program could often only be reached after fierce debates and numerous vetoes (see e.g. here, here and here). A major point of…

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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 Monetary Gold Doctrine and the ICC: Can the ICC determine the Territorial Boundaries of Israel and Palestine?

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been engaged in a Preliminary Examination of the situation in Palestine since January 2015. By December 2019, the Prosecutor had come to the conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been, or are being, committed on territory of Palestine, and that the other…

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Defining military activities in outer space: the launching of the Iranian satellite Nour 1

The Iranian satellite, Nour 1, operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was launched on 22 April 2020. The US Space Force (USSF) tracked Nour 1 and its final stage in orbit and added orbital tracking data and orbital parameters for two objects from the launch, the satellite and the rocket third stage, independently confirming the result…

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We Can ‘Recover Better’ Through The Art of Law in the International Community

Editor's Note:  This week, EJIL:Talk! runs its first Book Discussion for the year 2020.  As a timely thematic reflection for all international lawyers and international law academics contemplating the role, function, and purposes of the international legal system at this time of a shared global emergency, we are featuring Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell's Hersch Lauterpacht Memoral…

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