State Immunity

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‘Yet, it moves…’: The Dynamic Evolution of State immunity in the ‘Comfort Women’ case

Introduction                            On 8 January 2021, the Central District Court of Seoul, Republic of Korea (South Korea), ordered the Japanese government to compensate 12 South Korean victims in respect of sexual slavery perpetrated by members of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Japanese occupation of parts of Asia until the end of WWII (case n. 2016 Ga-Hap 505092). The judgment has not been appealed by the parties and is now final. The case, that has already gathered the attention of the public opinion worldwide (here, here, here and here), is likely to freeze already chilly diplomatic relations between the two countries. Japan did not participate in the proceedings and protested the decision for violation of its sovereign immunity. The judgment brings to the fore again the unsolved (or unsatisfactorily-solved) issue of the appropriate balance between the individual right to an effective remedy and State immunity, when the violation of peremptory norms is at stake. Following a purported dynamic evolution of international law, the Court relied upon…

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EJIL: The Podcast! WHO Let the Bats Out?

Episode 2 of EJIL: The Podcast! is now available. In this episode, Sarah Nouwen, Marko Milanovic, Philippa Webb and I, are joined by Gian Luca Burci, former Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization (WHO), to discuss what international health law provides in relation to preparation for and responses to pandemics. We…

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EJIL: The Podcast!

The European Journal of International Law has taken a new step in increasing its offerings that contribute to the analysis of issues of international law. In addition to the Journal and this blog, EJIL:Talk!, which was established in 2008, the Journal also has a series of video interviews, EJIL:Live! This week, we have started EJIL: The Podcast!…

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A Disappointing End of the Road for the Mothers of Srebrenica Litigation in the Netherlands

On Friday, the Dutch Supreme Court issued its final decision in the Mothers of Srebrenica litigation regarding the acts and omissions of the Dutch battalion (Dutchbat) of U.N. peacekeepers at Srebrenica in July 1995 (English translation). I’ve written previously on these pages about a pair of earlier, narrower cases (Nuhanović and Mustafić-Mujić) related to the Netherlands’ responsibility…

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A Hidden Reading of the ICC Appeals Chamber’s Judgment in the Jordan Referral Re Al-Bashir

On 6 May 2019, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued the Judgment in the Jordan Referral re Al-Bashir Appeal. It found that Jordan had no ground to refuse to execute the request by the ICC for arrest and surrender of Omar Al-Bashir, the then Head of State of Sudan - a State not…

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