Sources of International Law

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A New Hope for the Yukos Shareholders – PCA Awards Revived by the Hague Court of Appeal

Four years ago, the Hague district court gave an unexpected twist to the dispute between Russia and shareholders of the former oil company Yukos, setting aside the 50 billion USD awards issued by an investment arbitration tribunal under the auspices of the PCA on grounds of Russia’s breach of the expropriation clause of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The district court found that the arbitration clause of the ECT was not provisionally applicable to Russia and that the tribunal had wrongly assumed jurisdiction. This judgment has now been reversed by the Hague Court of Appeal (see here in Dutch), ruling that the provisional application of the ECT’s arbitration clause was not inconsistent with Russian law. The Court of Appeal also rejected Russia’s other grounds for annulment, which had not been assessed by the district court, including arguments based on the ECT’s tax carve-out, the alleged illegality of the investment, and the role of the tribunal’s assistant in drafting the awards. Provisional Application:…

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Populist Governments and International Law: A Rejoinder to Paul Blokker and Marcela Prieto Rudolphy

  I am grateful to Paul Blokker and Marcela Prieto Rudolphy for their thoughtful replies to my article on “Populist Governments and International Law”. In that article, I inquire into the question as to how populist governments contribute with their argumentative strategies and governmental practices to current perceptions of a crisis of and related shifts…

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How a Commercial Bond Dispute in the UK Supreme Court Invokes International Law

  While the heads of state for Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany met in Paris on December 9 to discuss terms of peace, across the English Channel in London the UK Supreme Court heard arguments concerning Russia’s suit for repayment on a US$3 billion loan to the government of Ukraine. The deal was made in December 2013 shortly…

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Reconciling new interpretations of the UN Charter with the customary international law on the use of force

  In a recent lecture, published as a post on this blog, Professor Dapo Akande analysed the diversity of the rules on the use of force in international law and the implications for the evolution of the law in this area. In this post I wish to address one issue arising from this discussion but not directly…

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The Diversity of Rules on the Use of Force: Implications for the Evolution of the Law

Last month, I had the pleasure and honour to deliver one of the keynote lectures at the Canadian Council of International Law Annual Conference. The theme of the conference was "Diversity and International Law" and I chose to speak about the diversity of rules on the use of force and the implications of that…

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