States and Statehood

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The Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union Treaty: Security in the face of climate change … and China?

On 9 November 2023, Australia and the Tuvalu signed the world’s first climate resettlement treaty. Tuvalu is a Pacific Island State of only 26 square kilometres in area, with over half its population living on the atoll of Funafuti. It has a mean elevation of less than 2 metres above sea level and is profoundly threatened by climate change. The Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union Treaty provides for a ‘human mobility’ pathway ‘which shall enable citizens of Tuvalu to: (a) live, study and work in Australia; (b) access Australian education, health, and key income and family support on arrival’ (Article 3). Political reporting suggests that while all 11,200 citizens of Tuvalu would be eligible for resettlement, a quota of 280 a year will be allowed to migrate ‘to avoid a brain drain of skilled workers’. Nonetheless, half the landmass of Funafuti could be underwater at high tide by 2050. Also of potentially profound significance in terms of State practice, Article 2(b) acknowledges ‘the statehood and sovereignty of Tuvalu will continue, and the…

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Having Taiwan in Mind? The Principle of Non-Use of Force and the ‘Peacefully Established Status of Territories’

‘The nomos of the earth’ is changing again as US-China relations are spiralling downwards rapidly. The increasingly likely scenario of a hot war between China and the US appears to be on everyone’s mind. Here Taiwan finds itself everywhere in the conversations of various international fora (here, here, and…

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Kosovo is a Country, and a Country Means a State, Rules the Court of Justice of the European Union

In September 2020, the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) examined whether the 2019 admission of Kosovo as a ‘third country’ to the EU Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) amounted to recognition by the EU of Kosovo as an independent State. The case was brought by Spain, a non-recogniser of Kosovo,…

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Democracy and the (Non)Statehood of Taiwan

Introduction Much ink has been spilled on Taiwan’s legal status since the Formosa Question first arose in the 1950s. Yet, after Taiwan gradually emerged as a free democracy through a series of constitutional reforms following the martial-law rule’s end in 1987, the question of Taiwan’s status in international law has been lent a new…

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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,…

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