International Court of Justice

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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. Nonetheless, the Court was satisfied that it had all the necessary information about Kenya’s views, including arguments advanced by Kenya in previous phases of the proceedings. As will be seen, the Court applied its ‘standard’ delimitation methodology. The three-stage approach to delimiting the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf involved drawing a provisional equidistance line from the chosen base points; adjusting this provisional line for equity in light of the relevant circumstances; and ensuring that the proportionality requirements were met. The final boundary delimitation line between Somalia and Kenya is an adjusted equidistance line, which favours Somalia’s position. This post is divided into two parts. First, it provides a brief background of the…

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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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The Gambia v Facebook: Obtaining Evidence for Use at the International Court of Justice (Part II)

[The first installment of this post provided an overview of the court’s decision in The Gambia v Facebook and identified some problematic aspects of the decision.] As discussed in the first installment of this post, a US federal court has ordered Facebook to disclose to The Gambia materials relating to anti-Rohingya hate speech and incitement…

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The Gambia v Facebook: Obtaining Evidence for Use at the International Court of Justice (Part I)

On September 22, 2021, a US magistrate judge ordered Facebook to disclose materials relating to the perpetration of ethnic hatred against the Rohingya Muslim-minority in Myanmar. The application was made by The Gambia, which seeks further evidence to support its claims in the pending action against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Facebook…

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