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Syria, Security Resolution 2118 (2013) and Peace versus Justice: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?

On 27 September 2013, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2118 (2013). The resolution broke the diplomatic impasse over Syria in the Security Council. It was celebrated as a diplomatic success and as a ‘precedent-setting’ resolution. It marks fundamental progress, on at least two fronts: (i) It shifted the debate on the use of force from claims of unilateral intervention to collective security action (which is in line with the spirit of the Responsibility to Protect idea under the World Summit Outcome Document); and (ii) it reinforced of the normative regime regarding the ban of the use of chemical weapons. (photo: mustard gas shells, credit) As has been aptly noted,  the text of resolution has not been expressly adopted under Chapter VII. But this does not detract from its binding force (Article 25 of the UN Charter) and its legal significance. The most immediate consequence of Resolution 2118 (2013) is that averted the threat of unilateral military…

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Human Rights à la Chinoise: Impressions from the 6th Human Rights Forum in Beijing on the Eve of the Second UPR of China, Part II

This is the second part of a post on the Beijing Human Rights Forum held in September 2013 in anticipation of the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of China. Part I introduced the pending Review, described recent human-rights-related legal reform in China, and summarized governmental attitudes on human rights expressed at the Forum. (photo credit)…

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Can the United States Deny Sudanese President Bashir a Visa to Attend the UN General Assembly or Arrest Him?

The Sudanese Government has applied to the United States for a visa that will enable Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to attend the United Nations General Assembly session which starts this week (see BBC report here). The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Bashir in 2009 and whenever he has travelled abroad since then questions…

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Mothers of Srebrenica: The Obligation to Prevent Genocide and Jus Cogens – Implications for Humanitarian Intervention

Manuel J. Ventura is a Director of The Peace and Justice Initiative and Dapo Akande is editor of EJIL:Talk! The June 2013 decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Stichting Mothers of Srebrenica and Others v. The Netherlands is the latest phase in the attempts by the relatives…

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Mr. Kadi and Article 103 (A Poem)

Professor James Crawford SC FBA is Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge While wandering through a wadi in the wastes of Saudi I came across Mr Kadi cracking rather hardy. I said ‘you must feel blue at what they’ve done to you’; he said to me…

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