International Tribunals

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Vacancies at the ICJ: Yes, there is a special practice, and it has to cease

In Is There a Special Practice Antonios Tzanakopoulos has written a very learned post seeking to dispel the notion that there is an expectation on the part of states that a casual vacancy on the International Court of Justice caused either by the death or resignation of a sitting judge should result in the election of a replacement of the same nationality. Political scientists and even diplomats will no doubt be astonished at the capacity that we international lawyers have to be fascinated by the questions of terminology that Antonios canvasses and that have, as he systematically points out, given rise to so much writing in the field. If there is any sort of expectation, should it be considered to be an ‘established practice’, a ‘custom’, a ‘tradition’, an ‘understanding’, a ‘trend’, a ‘tendency’ etc. Angels dancing on the heads of pins come to my mind, but this sort of reflection has a long-honoured tradition in our profession and it is helpful to have an accessible review of the literature. At the end…

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A Commentary on the Dispute Concerning the Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya)

On 12 October 2021, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its long-awaited judgment in the case of Maritime Delimitation in the Indian Ocean (Somalia v Kenya) on the location of the maritime boundary between Somalia and Kenya. Kenya refused to participate in the oral proceedings on the merits, as discussed here and here.

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Casual Vacancies in the ICJ: Is There a Special Practice?

This blog has regularly published comment on legal issues that emerge in the context of elections to the Bench of the ICJ. For any scholar of the Court, these matters are exciting and interesting, not to mention surrounded by a certain amount of bewilderment as to ‘unwritten rules’, ‘expectations’, ‘customs’, and ‘practices’…

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Editorial: Germany v Italy: Jurisdictional Immunities – Redux (and Redux and Redux)

Will we ever see closure to this saga at the center of which one finds the somewhat controversial decision of the ICJ of 2012 and the very controversial decision of the Italian Constitutional Court of 2014 rebuffing that decision? There is no need to recap fully the endless ‘puntatas’ in this story which have been followed…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 12 – “No Licence to Kill”

In this episode, Marko Milanovic, Philippa Webb and I discuss the legal issues that arise from targeted killings conducted by states outside their territory. We begin with a discussion of the recent blockbuster judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case concerning Alexander Litvinenko (Carter v. Russia, no. 20914/07, 21 September 2021). In that…

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