Sources of International Law

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Identifying Customary LOAC in Practice

The following post is part of a symposium based on a conference panel that discussed issues of customary law of armed conflict, at the 4th Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Military Advocate General (MAG) Conference on the Law of Armed Conflict, held in Herzliya, Israel, during May 8-10, 2023. The post is based on Colonel Katzir's presentation in the panel. In a post on this Blog a few years ago, Jorge Viñuales observed that “generalist international lawyers have become an endangered species.” This could be seen as an expected result of the ever-growing strive among many international law scholars for expertise in specialized niches. As law of armed conflict (LOAC) practitioners, a question we would like to raise premised upon Viñuales’ observation is – are LOAC experts sufficiently sensitive to generalist issues of international law? Specifically, we would like to focus in this post on the cardinal issue of customary international law (CIL) identification.

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Ireland Takes Key Stands on International Law in Cyberspace

On July 6th, Ireland released its Position Paper on the Application of International Law in Cyberspace. Coming on the heels of the 2021 UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE, on cyberspace) “Official Compendium,” which contained the views of 15 nations, and the 2022 publication of Canada’s position (…

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Revisiting Coercion

The prohibition of intervention, requiring States to refrain from coercively interfering in the internal or external affairs of other States, is widely recognized as a cardinal rule of customary international law. There is also widespread agreement about the constituent elements of the rule: (1) an interference with a State’s internal or external affairs which is (2) coercive in…

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‘Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better’: The International Law Commission is back on International Organizations

At its latest session in Geneva, the International Law Commission (ILC) inaugurated the discussions on its new project on the settlement of disputes to which international organizations (IOs) are parties. This is the fifth time in which the ILC focuses on IOs, after its projects on international responsibility, the representation of states, status, privileges…

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The Crotone Migrant Shipwreck: A Cat-and-Mouse Blame Game and the Role of Technologies at External Borders

There are myriad ways States could exercise effective remote control over the rights of persons, including detrimental rescue instructions, as well as policy and operational arrangements that can hinder human rights protection. On 26 February 2023, a migrant shipwreck off the Italian coast of Crotone, yet again ‘shocked’ the European Union (EU). Indeed, it has been quite a…

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