Occupation

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Of Straw Men, the United Nations and Illegal Occupation: A Rejoinder to David Hughes

Introduction In volume 31:3 of EJIL, David Hughes provides an interesting reply to my article in the same volume, in which I critically examine the commitment of the United Nations (UN) to the international rule of law by examining its management of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) since 1967. I argue that by merely documenting the host of Israeli violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) over Israel’s 53-year ‘temporary’ occupation of the OPT without definitively addressing the legality of the regime giving rise to those violations themselves, the UN has failed to discharge its functions in accordance with international law. I posit that based on the UN record itself the occupation is illegal for its systematic violation of three jus cogens norms – the prohibition on the acquisition of territory through the threat or use of force, the obligation to respect self-determination of peoples, and the obligation to refrain from imposing alien regimes inimical to humankind, including of racial discrimination. It is therefore curious,…

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Use of Force in Self-Defence to Recover Occupied Territory: When Is It Permissible?

In a recent piece on Just Security, Tom Ruys and Felipe Rodríguez Silvestre argue that a state whose territory is unlawfully occupied by another state does not have the right to use of force in self-defence to recover the occupied territory. The post considered the position in relation to the recent armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan…

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The Monetary Gold Doctrine and the ICC: Can the ICC determine the Territorial Boundaries of Israel and Palestine?

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been engaged in a Preliminary Examination of the situation in Palestine since January 2015. By December 2019, the Prosecutor had come to the conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been, or are being, committed on territory of Palestine, and that the other…

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The Duties of Occupying Powers in Relation to the Fight against Covid-19

Significant scholarship is investigating the array of international legal issues pertaining to the fight against Covid-19. This brief post aims at contributing to this debate by assessing the obligations upon occupying powers in this regard. Many sources have been reported that Covid-19 has reached occupied areas such as the OPT (e.g., here) and Northern…

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The Ituri Conundrum: Qualifying Conflicts between an Occupying Power and an Autonomous Non-State Actor

Last week, Trial Chamber VI of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the long-awaited judgment in the Ntaganda case. The judges found the defendant guilty on all 18 counts, including the ICC’s first ever conviction for sexual slavery. Although the Chamber is yet to resolve matters related to sentencing and reparations, the decision marks an important milestone…

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