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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 Justice’s (“ICJ”) jurisdiction under the Genocide Convention, asking the ICJ to find that the allegations of genocide against it by Russia are unfounded (see EJIL: Talk’s discussion here, here, here and here).  While Ukraine also asks the ICJ to find, as a consequence, that Russia’s use of force against Ukraine with the purported justification of genocide, is unlawful, the crux of the dispute under the Genocide Convention is Ukraine’s assertion of a negative – that Ukraine did not commit genocide. In this piece, I first offer a comparison of Ukraine’s strategy with the concept of “reverse compliance proceedings”, a feature of dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (“WTO”). Second, I argue…

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The EU’s Anti-Coercion Instrument: A Big Stick for Big targets

Applying economic pressure to coerce another country into a particular course of action has been around for a while, as developing countries can attest. In recent years, though, economic coercion has also been increasingly used against developed countries. The EU has been the target of such unwelcome pressure from, among others, China, Russia and the United States.

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Overcoming the Global Vaccine and Therapeutics Lag and ‘Vaccine Apartheid’: Abuse of Rights in the EU’s Continued Blocking of the TRIPS Waiver for COVID Vaccines and Related Medicines

Entering the third year of this global pandemic, the United States posted a grim global record of 1 million COVID cases on 3 January 2022.  This record, of course, exists in a shadow of relative non-transparency about COVID incidences, fatalities, and hospitalizations in many parts of the world, arising either from authoritarian regimes refusing to provide…

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Self-Constitution of Mankind without Constitutional Constructivism?

Philip Allott’s recent essay on EJIL: Talk! criticized power-oriented conceptions of ‘international law among sovereign states’ that privilege the self-interests of governments and contribute to the ‘collapse of global government’. His description of international relations as ‘a lawless world’ and ‘a legal wasteland in which those involved in events and transactions can pick and choose among competing…

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The Role of the Right to Health in a “Hidden” Pandemic: Antimicrobial Resistance

Last week, UK health officials declared that a "hidden pandemic" of antibiotic-resistant infections could soon threaten human health and lives. More cold symptoms are expected this winter, due to an increase in social mixing, but the UK Health Security Agency warn against premature and inadequate use of antibiotics. However, this menace is not new and not…

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