Sources of International Law

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We Can ‘Recover Better’ Through The Art of Law in the International Community

Editor's Note:  This week, EJIL:Talk! runs its first Book Discussion for the year 2020.  As a timely thematic reflection for all international lawyers and international law academics contemplating the role, function, and purposes of the international legal system at this time of a shared global emergency, we are featuring Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell's Hersch Lauterpacht Memoral Lectures published in book form, The Art of Law in the International Community (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Reviewers include Professors Neha Jain, Karel Wellens, Enzo Cannizzaro, and EJIL:Talk! Editor Professor Diane Desierto.  We begin today with Professor O'Connell's introduction. ‘This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.’ These are the words of United Nations Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, found here. Using the…

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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…

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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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