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AG Ćapeta’s Western Sahara Opinions: Undermining the Law of Decolonization

The law on decolonization has two primary objectives: transfer power from colonizer to people in accordance with their will and protect the people until that happens. On 21 March 2024, Advocate General Ćapeta delivered three linked opinions at the European Court of Justice that seriously undermine these objectives. The cases concern EU trade agreements with Morocco purporting to apply to the territory of Western Sahara. Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory that has been occupied by Morocco since its invasion in 1975. Two of the opinions concern a long line of litigations brought by the Western Saharan national liberation movement, the Front Polisario, discussed on the pages of this blog here, here, here, here, and here. (The third, brought by a French agricultural union, concerns labelling of goods from Western Sahara and is not discussed here).

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Council of Europe: Kosovo ante portas?

Since declaring independence in 2008, Kosovo has made the recognition of its statehood and the related issue of its membership in international organizations a priority of its foreign policy. After the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended on 16 April 2024, by 131 votes in favour, 29 against and 11 abstentions, that Kosovo be invited…

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Mexico and Ecuador at the ICJ: A Plea for Taking the Latin American Experience Seriously

On 5 April 2024, Ecuadorian special operation agents broke into the Mexican Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. Security footage released by Mexico captures the moment the agents forcefully subdued Deputy Chief of Mission Roberto Canseco Martínez as he attempted to prevent their entry. During the raid, the agents apprehended Jorge David Glas Espinel, the former Vice-President…

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Resolution 2728 (2024) is a Binding Council Resolution

Resolution 2728 (2024) has legally binding effect. Eran Sthoeger makes the claim that the Security Council’s resolution 2728, which demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, is “not legally binding”. This conclusion, he asseverates, follows from “a sound understanding of the practice of the Security Council under the Charter”. The true position is that the…

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Resolution 2728 on Israel/Gaza is Significant, But it Is Not a Binding Council Decision

Resolution 2728 on the situation in Gaza is not legally binding. This conclusion is not counterintuitive or surprising. Rather it is the result of a sound understanding of the practice of the Security Council under the Charter. It also flows from the views of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as articulated in the Namibia and Kosovo Advisory…

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