General Principles of International Law

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Silence and the Use of Force in International Law

States frequently take actions and make statements that implicate international law. But because they do not — and, indeed, could not — express a view on each such act or statement by all other states at all times, silence seems to be the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations. When states and other international actors do not express their views on a particular incident, issue or statement that implicates international law, what is the legal significance, if any, of their silence? Does it denote acquiescence or quiet protest? Might it not have legal significance at all? Who makes this determination? Who benefits, and who loses, from a finding that a particular silence does or does not yield legal consequences? Over the years, several scholars — despite some calls for caution — have invoked the silence of states and other international actors as proof of support for particular legal views. This practice has been noticeable and increasingly frequent in jus ad bellum — the field of international law…

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Joint Blog Series on International Law and Armed Conflict: Jann Kleffner on ‘Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment’

The final installment of our joint blog series arising from the 2017 Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, ‘Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment’- by Jann Kleffner (Swedish Defence University) is now available on Intercross.  Here’s a taster of Jann’s post: For all wounded and…

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The Public Law Approach in the Practice of Investment Treaty Arbitration

In my last post, I discussed how comparative public law methodology could inform the resolution of investor-State disputes and thus help to reform the system from within. This may sound like a view from the ivory tower. In this post I will first discuss why arbitrators have an incentive to make use of such a methodology…

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Surveillance Without Borders? The Unlawfulness of the NSA-Panopticon, Part I

Introduction: The draft GA resolution on privacy on the Internet At the end of October 2013, a draft General Assembly resolution calling for the right to privacy on the Internet was sponsored by Brazil and Germany. (photo: a panopticon, credit) The draft resolution reaffirms the human right to…

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Belgium v. Senegal: Did the Court End the Dispute between the Parties?

Inna Uchkunova, New Bulgarian University (LLM) is a Member of the International Moot Court Competition Association. The Judgment in the case concerning Questions Relating to the Obligation to Prosecute or Extradite (Belgium v. Senegal) is the first in the history of the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) in which it found that a State…

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