Self-Determination

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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 issued a halfhearted legal justification. In the case of the annexation not even this. The fact that it may be seen as part of the American so called “Deal of the Century” (The Trump Peace Plan) does not in and of itself constitute a justification under international law. Most observers, both within and without Israel, consider both annexation of, and most settlements in, the West Bank as blatant violations of international law, and rightly so. The establishment of settlements violates the prohibition on the transfer of the civilian population of the occupying power into the occupied territory, embedded in Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention, whereas annexation violates the UN Charter prohibition on the…

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A critical assessment of the Government of Israel’s memorandum to the ICC – Part II

  In my previous post, I argued that contrary to the view of the GOI, a Palestinian state has existed since 1919, and a Palestinian government was established – even if momentarily – in the territories occupied by the armed forces of Egypt and Jordan during the 1948 war following the termination of the mandate. This was known…

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A critical assessment of the Government of Israel’s memorandum to the ICC – Part I

  On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) published a 112-page document requesting that Pre-Trial Chamber 1 rule within 120 days on the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the situation in Palestine. On the same day the request was made public, the Government of Israel (GOI) published a 34-page memorandum of the Office…

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The Bougainville Independence Referendum and the ‘Duty to Consult’

  Earlier this month, the Bougainville island region of Papua New Guinea (PNG), announced that almost 98% of Bougainvilleans voting in the recent independence referendum had voted in favour of leaving PNG. The referendum is a key element of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA), which, following a ten-year armed conflict, provided for special autonomy and…

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Electoral Cyber Interference, Self-Determination and the Principle of Non-Intervention in Cyberspace

Introduction In recent years we have witnessed persistent attempts to interfere in elections by using cyber means. Russia’s cyber interference in the 2016 US presidential election is a prime and perhaps the most discussed example but it is not the only one; other incidents include electoral interference in the Netherlands, the UK, France and Germany…

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