International Tribunal Procedure

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Pandemics, Procedure and Participation: Hybrid Hearings in the Mauritius/Maldives Maritime Boundary Dispute

Introduction On 28 January 2021, an ITLOS Special Chamber delivered its Judgment on Preliminary Objections in the Dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Mauritius and Maldives in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius/Maldives, PO Judgment). This progressive judgment has stirred rich academic debate, including Thin’s contribution on the legal effect of soft law and Roeben and Jankovic’s contribution on the consolidation of sovereignty. State responses are likewise mixed, with the UK being –as the other claimant/assertion state to sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago– dismissive of its relevance (UK Minister of Foreign Affairs Statement 5 Nov 2019; Answers 8 Feb 2021; 10 Feb 2021; 15 Feb 2021; 22 Feb 2021; 8 March 2021; contra Shadow Foreign Secretary, 11 Feb 2021). In this post I leave the substantive law debate to colleagues and instead examine a procedural law dispute that arose within the Mauritius/Maldives Dispute,…

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UNCITRAL and ISDS Reform: Plausible Folk Theories

  As observers of the UNCITRAL process, we watch the debates with great interest, writing about the emergence of different camps, giving perspectives on how the process fits within broader geopolitical developments, and offering potential models for moving forward. One thing that we are often struck by is how some of the field’s underlying narratives are…

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UNCITRAL and ISDS Reforms: What Makes Something Fly?

  When conducting an international negotiation, the Chair has to ask him or herself: what makes something fly? This question really has two parts. The first concerns the negotiations themselves. Once you’ve taken off and achieved a certain cruising speed and altitude, how do you keep the momentum going? Will some flight paths be smoother than…

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Did ITLOS Just Kill the Military Activities Exemption in Article 298?

In a May 25, 2019 interlocutory decision, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) prescribed provisional measures in the case brought by Ukraine against Russia, ordering Russia to release three Ukrainian naval vessels and 24 Ukrainian service members seized on November 25, 2018 in an incident in the Kerch Strait. During the incident last…

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Fiddling While Rome Burns?  The Appeals Chamber’s Curious Decision in Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo

On March 21, 2016, after a 4-1/2 year-long trial that heard the testimony of 77 witnesses, the introduction of 773 items of evidence, and gave rise to a transcript that was thousands of pages long, a unanimous Trial Chamber convicted Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by his troops in the Central…

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