Provisional measures

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Ukraine’s ICJ Provisional Measures: A Narrow Path to Remedies

On February 2, the International Court of Justice dealt Ukraine’s case against Russia under the Genocide Convention a heavy blow when it dismissed the majority of the claims for lack of jurisdiction. The decision effectively transformed the case into one about whether Ukraine violated international law (by committing genocide), a far cry from Ukraine’s original application. And it appears to preclude any meaningful remedy for Russia’s brutal war at the merits stage. But Russia’s blatant breach of Ukraine’s provisional measures, which are binding, raises the possibility that the final judgment could nevertheless address Russia’s aggression, albeit indirectly. This post discusses the jurisdictional judgment’s implications for Ukraine’s two key provisional measures–the orders that Russia should suspend its military operations in Ukraine and ensure that no armed units or other persons within its control contribute to those operations. (The third measure, which prohibits either state from aggravating the dispute, probably survives until the merits judgment but is much more limited in scope.) The judgment’s effect…

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“Not All Scripts Come with One Voice”: Variations in State Responses to South Africa v Israel

This post examines responses to the ICJ 26 January Order on provisional measures (‘Order’) in South Africa v Israel by States in the West that regularly claim to subscribe to a so-called “rules-based international order”, a concept coined to replace the much more precise concept of international law, explained to the point by John Dugard…

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When the Reasons are More Telling than the Ruling: The Order of the ICJ in South Africa v. Israel

A veil of discontent wraps the order of the ICJ of January 26. The Court disappointed those who consider that the determination prima facie of the violation of the Genocide Convention should have logically entailed the more radical measure of the cessation of military actions, as in the Ukraine v. Russia case; they presented the operative part of…

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Implications of the ICJ Order (South Africa v. Israel) for Third States

The Order of 26 January 2024 by the International Court of Justice in the case of South Africa v. Israel established that there is a real and imminent risk of irreparable damage to some of the rights asserted by South Africa. Whether Israel will comply with the Order is an…

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Erga Omnes Partes Standing and Procedural Issues in South Africa v. Israel

On 26 January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) indicated provisional measures in a case brought under the Genocide Convention by South Africa against Israel concerning allegations of genocide related to the ongoing armed conflict in Gaza. South Africa relies on the theory of erga omnes partes standing which asserts that obligations…

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