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The Prohibition of Annexations and ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The International Court of Justice issued its much-anticipated advisory opinion in Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem on July 19, 2024. It is a blockbuster opinion, and a sweeping defeat for Israel. With it, the Court confidently asserts a powerful role in determining the content of international law, unhindered by concerns that powerful States might not follow its ruling. The Court decided that Israel is in violation of the law of occupation, the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and international human rights law. It reached the sweeping conclusion that Israel is obligated to end its occupation as rapidly as possible, to evacuate all Israeli settlers, and to provide large-scale reparations for the damages caused by the occupation. A key building block for the entire opinion is the Court’s finding that Israel has unlawfully annexed Palestinian territory. That finding is correct, but by appearing to ground the prohibition of annexations in the prohibition of the use of force, the Court…

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ICJ Delivers Advisory Opinion on the Legality of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian Territories

Yesterday, the International Court of Justice delivered its groundbreaking advisory opinion on the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. (The Court’s opinion and all of the individual opinions of the judges are available here.) The bottom line of the AO is that the…

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Some Additional Comments on the ECtHR Crimea Judgment: Occupation, Sovereignty, and “Law”

Kanstantsin Dzehtsiarou’s excellent post comprehensively examines the European Court’s judgment in Ukraine v. Russia re Crimea. In this post, however, I want to offer some additional comments on the judgment. My main purpose here is to discuss how the Court approached the question of territorial sovereignty over Crimea and its status as an…

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ICC Prosecutor’s application for arrest warrant against Israeli leaders: The war crime of starvation and its contextual element

On 20 May 2024, the ICC Prosecutor requested arrest warrants against leaders of both Hamas and Israel. The key crime charged against the Israeli leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister) and Yoav Gallant (the Minister of Defence), is the war crime of starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. This crime raises numerous issues, including…

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How does the classification of armed conflict impact the protection of freshwater in Gaza?

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched ‘‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’’ – an unprecedented attack on Israel from Gaza. Israel responded with ‘‘Operation Swords of Iron’’, aiming to remove hostile forces. Over the weeks, the Israel-Hamas conflict has escalated, leading to severe implications for access to freshwater in Gaza. Israel’s control over essential supplies,…

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