United Nations

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Will history repeat itself? Anticipating the ICJ advisory opinion on the legal status of Israel’s occupation and its consequences

The Request for Advisory Opinion On 30 December 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/77/247, containing the annual indictment of Israeli practices in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In addition, the resolution contains one novelty, a request addressed to the ICJ to render an Advisory Opinion on the following questions: (a) What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures? (b) How do the policies and practices of Israel referred to in paragraph 18(a) above [the previous paragraph] affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status? Question…

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With No Judge or Jury, Who Will Decide the Fate of 4.1 million Aid-Dependent Syrians? A Comment on the Legality of UN-Coordinated Cross-Border Aid Operations in Syria

As the UN Security Council (“UNSC”) once again prepares to consider renewing the mandate for UN-coordinated cross-border humanitarian aid operations in Syria, 4.1 million aid recipients wait to see whether Russia will finally veto their last remaining lifeline. With stakes at their highest since 2014, relevant actors within the international community can revert to established legal positions surrounding…

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Finding UN responsibility for its stabilization activities

United Nations (UN) peace operations have changed in recent years and several missions now pursue stabilization mandates. These stabilization missions uniquely work alongside the host government, promote the rule of law, engage in counter-terrorism activities, and use robust force to counter spoilers to the peace process. Stabilization mandates often expressly call for the missions to assist with the…

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UN General Assembly Committee Adopts Resolution Requesting Second Advisory Opinion from ICJ on Occupied Palestinian Territory

On 10 November 2022, at the Seventy-seventh session of the UN General Assembly, Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), the State of Palestine- in a move which skirted largely under the media radar- tabled a resolution under Item 47 calling for an International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the legal status of Israel’s occupation of…

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Project 2100—Is the International Legal Order Fit for Purpose?

It is in the darkest moments that we must ask the hardest questions and peer through the gloom in an attempt to see the light. The events to the east of us raise stark questions—about the current world order; about the place and effectiveness of the United Nations; about what the U.S. long-term assessment of global…

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