International Tribunals

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“Failure to Act” of Mr Putin: Liability by Omission

As announced on 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Mr Vladimir Putin (the President of the Russian Federation), who has been charged with unlawful deportation and transfer of children (Articles 8(2)(a)(vii) and 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation at least from 24 February 2022 onward. Mr Putin’s individual criminal responsibility allegedly stems from acting directly, jointly with others and/or through others and as a civilian superior (Articles 25(3)(a)) and 28(b) of the Rome Statute). In addition to Vladimir Putin, the so-called Mother Russia Ms Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova (who will not be the subject of analysis here) is allegedly responsible for acting directly, jointly with others and/or through others (Article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute) regarding the above-mentioned crimes. The arrest warrant has resulted in numerous debates, including regarding the choice of crimes which have been included (listen here) and its political and legal effects (see here). The ICC decision to go “straight to the top”…

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Amicus Curiae Brief in Ukraine and the Netherlands v. Russia

The European Court of Human Rights recently joined two major interstate cases pending before it – the interstate case filed by Ukraine and the Netherlands against Russia that concerned the downing of the MH17 airliner and events in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, which it declared admissible in January, with the new interstate application filed by Ukraine…

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Admissibility vs Jurisdiction in Guyana v Venezuela (ICJ)

On 6 April 2023, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its judgment in the case of Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v Venezuela). The background to this case has already been discussed in detail on this blog here. In short, it relates to a centuries-old territorial dispute originating in the colonial era, unsuccessfully resolved…

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The Objective Friends of the Court – New Insights into the Role of Third Parties before the European Court of Human Rights

On 20 March 2023, the European Court of Human Rights published a Practice Direction on the modalities of Third-Party Intervention and announced an amendment of the Rules of Court. The clarifications and changes contained therein could not come at a better time. Just three days earlier, the Court had announced that 26 member States would intervene…

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Arbitrary Detention in Non-International Armed Conflicts: A Tale of Two Hague Courts

On 3 April 2023, the much-anticipated trial against Hashim Thaçi, Kadri Veseli, Rexhep Selimi and Jakup Krasniqi started at the Kosovo Specialist Chamber (‘KSC’). In its opening statement, the Prosecution told the judges that each accused is criminally responsible of four counts of war crimes – to wit: illegal and arbitrary arrest and detention, cruel treatment, torture and…

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