International Court of Justice

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The Curious Case of the ‘Legal Effect’ of ICJ Advisory Opinions in the Mauritius/Maldives Maritime Boundary Dispute

On Thursday 28 January, the ITLOS Special Chamber delivered its judgment on the admissibility of the Dispute concerning the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives). One of the key issues was the Maldives’ contention that the ongoing dispute between Mauritius and the UK over the Chagos Islands precluded the exercise of the Special Chamber’s jurisdiction. Despite this objection, the Chamber held (with Judge Oxman dissenting) that it did indeed have jurisdiction to proceed to the merits. There are many features of this case that are worthy of discussion. The oral proceedings were the first in ITLOS’ history in which hybrid procedures were employed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chamber’s judgment is yet another important nail in the coffin for the UK’s claims to overseas territory and a victory in the fight for decolonisation. However, this blog post will focus on a more legalistic element, namely what the Special Chamber calls the ‘legal effect’ of Advisory Opinions of the International Court…

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Monitoring provisional measures at the International Court of Justice: the recent amendment to the Internal Judicial Practice

On 21 December 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced the adoption of a new Article 11 of its Internal Judicial Practice. The new text provides for the creation of an ad hoc committee where the Court orders provisional measures, with three judges, to assist the monitoring of their implementation. The ad hoc committee is meant to…

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ICJ Jurisdiction over Obligations to Share Information with the WHO

It has been almost a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and many parts of the world are still suffering deaths, disease, and lockdowns despite the advent of vaccines. Yet little has happened in terms of international responsibility, even if the blogosphere has produced…

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Legacy of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, 100 Years Onward

The centenary of the adoption of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (predecessor to the International Court of Justice) passed this month with relatively little fanfare. As the affiliated court of the League of Nations, casual observers may indeed be inclined to consign the PCIJ’s Statute to the same legacy as the Covenant of its…

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An Analysis of the ICJ’s Judgment on the Merits of the Immunities and Criminal Proceedings (Equatorial Guinea v. France) Case: All for nothing?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its judgment on the merits of the Immunities and Criminal Proceeding (Equatorial Guinea v. France) case on Friday the 11th of December. The 45-minute hearing was the end of a 12-year affair. The facts covered by the court go back to the December 2008 filing of a complaint…

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