Jurisdiction

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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 to the deposit by the respondent State of a special declaration, under Article 34(6), authorizing such referral. Thus, by this withdrawal, Benin, even if it remains a party to the Court, now deprives private individuals of any direct recourse to the Court. The withdrawal of the Benin Declaration comes the day after a Court ordered the suspension of the communal elections scheduled for 17 May 2020 in the country, following a request by an opponent of the ruling government, Mr Sebastien Ajavon. While affirming that there is no immediate link between the two events, the spokesperson for the Beninese government justified his country’s decision by “the repeated slippages noted” of the African Court of Human and…

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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…

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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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