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Is Ukraine a “Stranger” to the EU? OPAL Case

In their recent contribution to the Global Trust Working Paper Series, Professor Eyal Benvenisti and Dr. Sivan Shlomo Agon raise one conspicuous, though rarely asked, question within a broader topic of state sovereignty in a globalised world. They wonder how sovereign decision-making powers can be restrained in the face of interests of “strangers”, i.e. third countries, as well as natural and legal persons, to which the effects of national policies “radiate” without allowing them to hold the decision-makers politically accountable. The authors make the first proposition that: “international courts can and in fact do play a role in promoting the duties of states towards strangers affected by their policies, thereby alleviating some of the democratic and accountability deficits associated with globalization” (p.2). Their second proposition is that international courts have developed ways to account for the “interests of affected others from within and outside” their host systems. Both propositions are then tested against the ample practice of the WTO dispute settlement system. The article echoes well…

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Philippines v China: first thoughts on the Award in the South China Seas Case

Any international lawyer looking at a news site in the last few hours will have seen that the final award has been handed down at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Philippines v China dispute brought under the UN Convention on the Law Sea Annex VII procedure. The arbitral tribunal’s decision is simply historic. While Philippines…

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The Philippines v. China Arbitral Award on the Merits as a Subsidiary Source of International Law

"Great Game" politics in the Asia-Pacific has just changed irrevocably, especially for all parties, claimants, and affected constituencies in the South China Sea, after the Annex VII UNCLOS arbitral tribunal released its 12 July 2016 Award in Republic of the Philippines v. People's Republic of China (Permanent Court of Arbitration Case No. 2013-19).  While we will be featuring posts…

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Trade Agreements, EU Law, and Occupied Territories (2): The General Court Judgment in Frente Polisario v Council and the Protection of Fundamental Rights Abroad

This is a follow-up to my July post on Action for Annulment Frente Polisario v Council (Case T-512/12), a case before the General Court of the European Union (GC) in which Frente Polisario – the National Liberation Movement for Western Sahara – seeks the Annulment of the EU Council decision adopting the 2010 EU-Morocco Agreement…

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Trade Agreements, EU Law, and Occupied Territories – A Report on Polisario v Council

Speaking of occupied territories, an interesting judgment should soon come from the General Court of the European Union (GC) in Action for Annulment Frente Polisario v Council (Case T-512/12), a case with fascinating international law aspects. I attended the hearing last week and think it warrants a report. Frente Polisario is a national liberation movement…

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