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Is There a Legal Duty to Cooperate in Implementing Western Sanctions on Russia?

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, Europe and other allies imposed sanctions on Russia for violating the prohibition against the use of force, a peremptory norm owed to the international community as a whole. While the ability of these sanctions per se to put a swift end to Russia’s invasion has been doubted (see here, here and here), recently, several states have arguably taken actions that undermine any impact the sanctions may have. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been in the forefront of the news for refusing President Biden’s plea to increase oil production after he announced a ban on imports of Russian oil. Additionally, the UAE has been receiving the yachts and jets of Russian businessmen on the US and European sanctions list. It has also been reported that Turkey is welcoming yachts of the sanctioned Russian rich. Turkey has also been reluctant to close its airspace to Russian planes in line with EU sanctions. India…

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“Friends of the court” making the most of Amicus Curiae with UN Treaty Bodies

The practice of submitting Third Party Interventions (TPIs) – also known as Amicus Curiae briefs - is well established in Commonwealth jurisdictions, and it has become common practice within regional mechanisms such as the Inter-American and European Courts of Human Rights, and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ rights. Similarly, most of the eight UN…

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Three Options for the Veto Power After the War in Ukraine

If any good can come out of the war in Ukraine, it should be a resumption of the decade-long process in the United Nations aiming at reining in or even removing the veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council. President Zelensky’s recent call for reforming the veto system may help to create the necessary…

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Russia and the UN Human Rights Council: A Step in the Right Direction

The United Nations General Assembly has voted to suspend Russia’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council. This is only the second time in the Council’s 16 year history that a member has been suspended under GA resolution 60/251 paragraph 8 for committing ‘gross and systematic violations of human…

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The War of Aggression Against Ukraine, Cultural Property and Genocide: Why it is Imperative to Take a Close Look at Cultural Property

For too long, a great deal of energy has been invested in trying to decipher obscure statements made by Vladimir Putin (a true “masterclass of disinformation”: Åslund 2021; cf. Kappeler 2021). Now that Putin has started a war of aggression against Ukraine, it is high time that we take his denials of Ukrainian statehood and…

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