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On Hezbollah, Huawei, Homosexuality, Sharon Stone and a Chainsaw: The Economic Normalization Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo

On September 4, 2020, an economic relations agreement was signed between Serbia and Kosovo, as part of efforts to resolve the long-standing dispute about Kosovo’s independence. It was brokered by the Trump administration and signed at the White House. President Trump called the agreement historic and its signatories – the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti – great leaders (for more background see here, here, and here). As explained below, to describe this agreement as historic would be an overstatement, to put it mildly. Instead of setting the ground for what it will supposedly achieve – the normalization of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo, thus advancing the welfare of their people – the agreement in reality seems to be a mishmash of different issues important mostly to President Trump in his campaign for the US presidential election this coming November. It is more like a New Year’s resolution list, as someone noted on Twitter, than…

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Editorial: The Legality of the Israeli Annexation – Redux

Once the American Administration recanted its long standing position as regards Israeli settlements, one could expect, as day follows night, that a shift on annexation would also follow, much to the delight of the Israeli government. It played well to the internal political agenda of both governments. In the case of settlements the State Department at least…

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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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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part II

In Part Two of this blog, I turn to the second of the Prosecutor’s arguments in favour of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction with regard to the “Situation in Palestine”. This is that Palestine is a State irrespective of its status as a party to the Statute. However, the Prosecutor seeks to nuance her position by arguing that Palestine…

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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part I

On 30 April 2020, the ICC Prosecutor issued her Response to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States  in the “Situation in the State of Palestine” matter. This has brought into focus a substantial debate as to what constitutes a State. There had been contributions submitted by 33 amici (including the…

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