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Could Russia again invoke its “essential security interests” in relation to the war in Ukraine?

I. Introduction Most recently, it seems that Russia will not initiate its withdrawal from the WTO, and has many investment treaties that are still in force. At present, there is still a possibility that investors may seek to bring claims under these investment treaties in relation to the measures taken by Russia arising out of its invasion of Ukraine to nationalise foreign firms and attempts to annex areas of Ukraine. History seems to be on course to repeat itself – given that previously, a wave of 10 known ISDS claims were brought arising out of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.   In light of the continued existence of Russia’s obligations under these instruments, the goal of this piece is to analyse a well-rehearsed Russian defence, namely its “essential security interests” in the context of war or other emergency in international relations, and consider its application in relation to future WTO and investor-state claims. To begin with, this author sets out Russia’s previous success in claiming “essential security interests” before…

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The First Working Draft of the WHO’s ‘Pandemic Treaty’: attempting to cover normative gaps indicated by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Given its cross-border nature and the threat to global health, the COVID-19 crisis has shown the world the importance of strengthening global pandemic governance. In particular, the pandemic has prominently indicated significant flaws in the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) as the current instrument governing pandemics. In addition to recognizing that revisions are urgently needed to…

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Does It Matter Who Writes Legal Rulings? It Depends.

Does it matter whether rulings delivered by international tribunals are truly written by the adjudicators appointed to the case, as opposed to the permanent staff of a legal bureaucracy working in the background? In his Reply to our EJIL article, ‘WTO Rulings and the Veil of Anonymity’, Armin Steinbach claims there is nothing untoward about unnamed…

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The WTO Secretariat’s ‘Open Secret’: Unpacking the Controversy

Over the past two years, we have had the opportunity to present the findings from our EJIL article, ‘WTO Rulings and the Veil of Anonymity’, to a number of audiences spanning fields from international law to political science and quantitative methods. Though the article makes a number of claims about transparency in judicial settings, the design of…

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Ukraine v Russia: A “Reverse Compliance” case on Genocide

Disputes before international courts and tribunals typically arise out of an allegation by one State that another State has violated international law. The State making the allegation takes the initiative to bring the dispute before an adjudicator. The new dispute initiated by Ukraine against Russia is novel in this respect, since Ukraine invokes the International Court of…

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