Provisional measures

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Erga Omnes Partes Standing after South Africa v Israel

The International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order in South Africa v Israel has rightly been referred to as a legally and politically significant, if expected, development. Much will be said about it in the coming weeks and months. However, this post will focus on the order’s place within broader trends on standing based on obligations erga omnes partes in the Court’s jurisprudence. Given the striking lack of disagreement on this issue—including from long-time objector Judge Xue—South Africa v Israel may indicate that the previously controversial doctrine is now universally accepted within the Court. Standing for Obligations erga omnes partes Violations in ICJ Jurisprudence The terminology of obligations erga omnes partes is based on the Court’s pronouncement in Barcelona Traction that there is a category of obligations in which ‘all States can be held to have a legal interest in their protection; they are obligations erga omnes’ (Barcelona Traction, § 33). This built on the earlier finding in Reservations to the Genocide Convention…

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Uneasy Alliances: The Gaza-Conflict before Dutch Courts

Introduction In the past few days, the international community has been transfixed on the public hearings in the case that South Africa instituted against the State of Israel before the International Court of Justice (‘ICJ’): i.e. the ‘Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip’…

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Does the ICJ have the Legal Authority to Pronounce itself on the Right to Self-Defence?

Jesse Lempel raises a profound issue in his recent post concerning the South African application for provisional measures against Israel in the Gaza genocide case. He asserts that the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, cannot ‘order provisional measures that impair a state’s right to self-defence.’ The argument appears to be…

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Why the ICJ Cannot Order Israel to Stop the War in Gaza as a Provisional Measure

Will the International Court of Justice (ICJ) order Israel to cease or curtail its military operations in Gaza as a provisional measure, as South Africa requested in its proceedings against Israel under the Genocide Convention? That is the “big question,” as Professor Mike Becker put it. And Israeli officials are reportedly concerned about the “real…

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Guyana v Venezuela: Intriguing Pleadings in an (In)conspicuous Case

On 14 and 15 November, the ICJ held oral arguments on the request for provisional measures in Guyana v Venezuela. Although, initially the chances of Guyana’s success were deemed doubtful, the ongoing events and arguments put forward by the parties have unfolded as quite intriguing. If the Court were to address all aspects, surprisingly, this…

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