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Appointment of the Ad Hoc Conciliation Commissions under ICERD

The inter-State communications procedure under Articles 11-13 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) lay dormant for over 50 years before its activation in March-April 2018 in three inter-State communications, Qatar v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2018), Qatar v United Arab Emirates (2018) and Palestine v Israel (2018). These were the first inter-State communications ever submitted to a UN treaty body. As readers of this blog will recall, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) ruled positively on the questions of jurisdiction and admissibility in all three cases to date (see Keane, Eiken and Eiken). These communications have now all progressed to the establishment of ad hoc Conciliation Commissions which are tasked with examining the issues of substance raised in the communications. While the mode of composition of the ad hoc Conciliation Commission appears to be a rather technical question, its examination allows for interesting observations on the nature of the inter-State mechanism. ICERD’s inter-State procedure unfolds before two bodies. Under Article 11,…

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How Should Governments Decide Whether or not to Recognise other Governments, and can the General Assembly Help?

Last week, the General Assembly’s Credentials Committee met to assess the credentials of delegates claiming the right to represent their States at the General Assembly. As discussed previously on this forum, normally this is a formality. On this occasion, however, as is well known, the Committee had two contentious cases to consider. In the case of Myanmar, competing…

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Still Losing: A Short History of Women in Elections (and By-Elections) for the UN International Law Commission

On 12 November 2021, the UN General Assembly held the sixteenth regular election for the International Law Commission (ILC). As the Assembly extended the mandate of the current members until the end of 2022, in response to the exceptional situation created by the pandemic, the newcomers, numbering 18, will have over a…

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UN Security Council Referrals to the ICC and the Principle of Legality

Introduction On 1 November 2021, the Appeals Chamber (AC) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rendered an interesting judgment relating to a jurisdictional challenge brought by the Defence in the case of Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rhaman (“Ali Kushayb”). The challenge is noteworthy because it confronted the Court with novel issues of law relating to the…

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The Disputes Between Armenia and Azerbaijan: The CERD Compromissory Clause as a One-way Ticket to Hague

Introduction In September 2021, Armenia and Azerbaijan lodged each against the other an application before the International Court of Justice (Court) (ArA and AzA). Both applications refer to alleged breaches of the 1966 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), using its compromissory clause (Article 22) to establish the…

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