States and Statehood

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Membership of INTERPOL

The International Criminal Police Organization-INTERPOL (“INTERPOL”) General Assembly is scheduled to meet in India in October 2022 for its 90th ordinary session. On the eve of the opening of the session, the INTERPOL Executive Committee must finalise the agenda for the session. One item that should be on the agenda is membership of INTERPOL. Last year, during the General Assembly’s 89th ordinary session, INTERPOL announced the admission of the Federated States of Micronesia (“Micronesia”) as the 195th member of INTERPOL. Micronesia’s admission should be celebrated: it closes a gap in secure global police communication and bolsters worldwide efforts of crime prevention. However, it should not be all celebrations. The admission of Micronesia as a member of INTERPOL was formalised in General Assembly resolution GA-2021-89-RES-01. Although the operative paragraphs of GA-2021-89-RES-01 are innocuous, the preambular paragraphs are problematic because they endorse General Assembly resolution GA-2017-86-RES-01. The latter resolution interprets the term “country” in Article 4 of the 1956 INTERPOL Constitution (“Constitution”) to mean…

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Setting the Cat amongst Pigeons: Kosovo’s Application for Membership of the Council of Europe

Kosovo is one of the few places in Europe not party to the European Convention on Human Rights due to a legacy conflict with Serbia. Kosovo declared independence in 2008 after a bloody war followed by a period of international administration, but this is strongly disputed by Serbia which claims exclusive sovereignty over the entire territory. The conflict…

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Anarchy and Anachronism: An Existential Challenge for International Law

The war in Ukraine has opened our eyes to two things that have long been there to be seen.  The post-1945 world order has collapsed into a new world disorder. The utopian dream of inevitable social progress across the human world has revealed itself as an illusion. History has ended, not in improbable optimism but in a sense…

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Was Russia’s Recognition of the Separatist Republics in Ukraine ‘Manifestly’ Unlawful?

In this post I will not be addressing the legality of Russia’s use of force against Ukraine, but that of its recognition of the separatist republics in Ukraine as independent States. This recognition has been described by numerous other States as not only unlawful, but as a manifest or flagrant breach of international law. For example, the words…

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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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