Customary International Law

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The Common African Position on the Application of International Law in Cyberspace: Reflections on a Collaborative Lawmaking Process

On January 29, 2024, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) unanimously adopted Communiqué 1196 (2024) pursuant to which it adopted the Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in the Cyberspace. The Common African Position (CAP) and all four Communiqués that the PSC adopted on this topic can be found here. The CAP consists of eleven sections. In addition to a preamble and a conclusion, which include important statements of law and policy, it includes sections on the following concepts, rules, or fields of international law: sovereignty, due diligence, non-intervention, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the prohibition on the threat or use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and the attribution of conduct to states. In addition, the CAP includes a section on capacity-building, which was proposed by Algeria. This section is not framed in terms of rights and obligations under international law, but is a policy statement on international cooperation and technical assistance in the area of…

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Protecting commercial shipping with strikes into Yemen: Do attacks against merchant shipping trigger the right of self-defence?

On January 11, 2024, the US and UK, supported by a group of other States, commenced attacks against targets in Yemen. These attacks were preceded by a range of efforts to secure the sea lines of communication through the Red Sea against continued attacks by the Houthis from Yemen territory. A maritime coalition taskforce was set up…

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American Pick and Choose or Customary International Law?

Since 2003, the United States (US) has been collecting, processing, and analyzing marine geophysical data to determine the outer limits of its continental shelf. Some 20 years later, on 19 December 2023, the US Department of State published the geographical coordinates that define its extended continental shelf (ECS), stating that: ‘The United States…

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The Recognition of a Customary Rule of International Law in NICOL II – A Redundant Exercise?

In Question of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf between Nicaragua and Colombia beyond 200 Nautical Miles from the Nicaraguan Coast (NICOL II), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) observed a general trend in which coastal States had “chosen not to assert” outer continental shelf entitlement “within 200 nautical miles of the baselines of another…

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Iran’s Tryst With the Terrorism Exception and State Immunity

Introduction On June 27, 2023, Iran instituted proceedings against Canada before the International Court of Justice (“the Court/ICJ”), contending a violation of its jurisdictional immunity and immunity from measures of constraint. A detailed statement of the jurisdictional and substantive issues raised in the case can be found in a previous blog…

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