State Responsibility

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Ukraine Files ICJ Claim against Russia

Earlier today President Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has filed an application against Russia before the International Court of Justice: Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week. — Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 27, 2022 This is apparently a separate case to the one pending under the Terrorism Financing Convention and the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The basic problem here (compliance issues notwithstanding) is the jurisdictional basis. Russia does not have an Article 36(2) declaration accepting the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction. There is no treaty vesting the Court with jurisdiction over aggression or the breach of the prohibition on the use of force under Article 2(4) of the Charter. So what exactly is the jurisdictional basis here? The application isn’t available yet publicly.

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Council at War: Russia, Ukraine and the UN Security Council

‘It is the responsibility of this body to stop the war’, Ukraine’s representative told the UN Security Council on Wednesday this week. He was interrupted by the current President of the UN Security Council who clarified ‘this isn’t called a war, this is called a special military operation in the Donbas’. In this moment, the Ukrainean representative…

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With Russian troops pouring into Ukraine today in the aftermath of President Putin's open questioning of Ukrainian statehood, there is an immediate danger that the international community of States, international organizations, and non-State actors will treat this situation as one involving some kind of factual ambiguity, first requiring prudence on the part of third States to…

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Inadequate State Response to Protect Life and Health in Times of COVID-19 as a Violation of Human Rights Obligations – the Example of Poland

While the fourth wave of COVID-19 pandemics flows over Europe and other continents, States undertake different steps and measures aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus. Many countries and regions introduced the requirement of COVID certificates/passes, while some plan to implement mandatory vaccinations at least for certain occupations. These measures have spurred discussions of…

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Beyond COP26: Time for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change?

The recent Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP26) provided a stark reminder of the gap between states’ planned greenhouse emission reductions and the global temperature goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement. The conference also dramatically showcased once more the plight of vulnerable nations faced with the devastating impacts of rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

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