Jurisdiction

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Secondary Sanctions: A Weapon Out of Control? Part I: Permissibility of the sanctions under the law of jurisdiction

Lately, the US has increasingly been ‘weaponizing’ economic sanctions to push through a foreign policy agenda. Making use of the centrality of the US in the global economy, it has forced foreign states and their firms to choose between halting trade with US sanctions targets or forfeiting access to the lucrative US market. In addition, the US has not shied away from slapping huge fines on foreign firms present in the US that route payments to sanctions targets through the US financial system. While US reliance on economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool is hardly novel, the US has recently made much more aggressive use of them to project US power abroad. Most eye-catching have been the reinstatement of US sanctions against Iran in 2018, the strengthening of the Cuba boycott, and the sanctions on persons involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will transport natural gas from Russia to the European Union. US sanctions do not only govern economic relations between the US…

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Immunities and Compromissory Clauses: Making Sense of Enrica Lexie (Part II)

In Part I of this post, we discussed how the Arbitral Tribunal, in its recently-released award in the Enrica Lexie case, approached the question of incidental jurisdiction over questions of immunity. While the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, under Article 288 UNCLOS, was limited to ‘dispute[s] concerning the interpretation or application of th[e] [Law of the Sea] Convention’…

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Immunities and Compromissory Clauses: Making Sense of Enrica Lexie (Part I)

Small(ish) disputes can make for significant holdings. From Nottebohm to Lotus to AAPL v Sri Lanka, the list of relatively limited incidents prompting far-reaching judicial and arbitral pronouncements is long. We may now have to add Enrica Lexie to it. The PCA’s award…

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The Netherlands’ inter-State application against Russia six years after MH 17

Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down in July 2014 over the territory of Eastern Ukraine, killing 298 persons. On 10 July 2020, almost exactly six years later, the Dutch government lodged an inter-State application against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, the Court) under Article 33 ECHR,…

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‘Victim of its commitment … You, passerby, a tear to the proclaimed virtue’: Should the epitaph of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights be prepared?

In a letter dated 21 April, the Government of Benin informed the African Union of its decision to withdraw the declaration made under Article 34(6) of the Ouagadougou Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. As the Court recalled in its first judgment, direct referral by an individual or an NGO is subject…

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