Jurisdiction

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Public Interest Litigation Before Domestic Courts in The Netherlands on the Basis of International Law: Article 3:305a Dutch Civil Code

In recent years, the domestic courts in The Hague (Netherlands) have produced a series of judgments on matters of global concern, adjudicated on the basis of international law. All of these judgments have immediately been heralded as “a new classic” or “the most important court decision […] in the world so far” by scholars and practitioners of international law. This raises the question: Why does one domestic court produce so many of these landmark rulings on fundamental issues of international law? Is it because The Hague takes its nickname ‘legal capital of the world’ (too) seriously? Or is it because the domestic courts in The Hague have been inspired by that other court in their city -  the International Court of Justice? I believe it has more to do with a particular provision in the Dutch Civil Code: Article 305a of Book 3. Article 3:305a Civil Code allows anyone to establish a foundation, mandated to protect a public…

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Of Temporal Jurisdiction and Power Struggles in the ICC’s Palestine Investigation

  It’s been five years since Palestine made the much-awaited move of requesting the International Criminal Court to investigate crimes allegedly committed by Israel “in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014.” Like last month’s decision of the Prosecutor announcing her intention to open an investigation, it was made public…

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Bringing Deforestation before an International Court?

  Deforestation is a key issue in the fight against climate change. In all areas of the world, forests are being transformed for different uses, all leading to a loss of forest cover “from 31.6 percent of the global land area to 30.6 percent between 1990 and 2015”. Recently, the Amazon fires have caused concern around the…

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The Same Thing? Negotiation and Articles 11-13 of the CERD Convention in Ukraine v Russian Federation

On 8 November 2019, the ICJ issued its preliminary objections judgment in Ukraine v. Russian Federation – see here for an excellent discussion of its importance. This piece focuses on one aspect of the decision, that the “preconditions” of Article 22 of the CERD Convention are alternative rather than cumulative. It looks specifically at the reasoning in…

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The Gambia’s gamble, and how jurisdictional limits may keep the ICJ from ruling on Myanmar’s alleged genocide against Rohingya

  On 11 November, The Gambia filed an Application instituting proceedings and requesting provisional measures at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to the genocide allegedly committed by Myanmar against the Rohingya (for a first analysis of the Application, see this post by Priya Pillai). As notably reported by The New…

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