States and Statehood

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Editorial: The Legality of the Israeli Annexation – Redux

Once the American Administration recanted its long standing position as regards Israeli settlements, one could expect, as day follows night, that a shift on annexation would also follow, much to the delight of the Israeli government. It played well to the internal political agenda of both governments. In the case of settlements the State Department at least issued a halfhearted legal justification. In the case of the annexation not even this. The fact that it may be seen as part of the American so called “Deal of the Century” (The Trump Peace Plan) does not in and of itself constitute a justification under international law. Most observers, both within and without Israel, consider both annexation of, and most settlements in, the West Bank as blatant violations of international law, and rightly so. The establishment of settlements violates the prohibition on the transfer of the civilian population of the occupying power into the occupied territory, embedded in Article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention, whereas annexation violates the UN Charter prohibition on the…

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The Monetary Gold Doctrine and the ICC: Can the ICC determine the Territorial Boundaries of Israel and Palestine?

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been engaged in a Preliminary Examination of the situation in Palestine since January 2015. By December 2019, the Prosecutor had come to the conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been, or are being, committed on territory of Palestine, and that the other…

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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part II

In Part Two of this blog, I turn to the second of the Prosecutor’s arguments in favour of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction with regard to the “Situation in Palestine”. This is that Palestine is a State irrespective of its status as a party to the Statute. However, the Prosecutor seeks to nuance her position by arguing that Palestine…

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A State is a State is a State? Some Thoughts on the Prosecutor’s Response to Amici Briefs on Territorial Jurisdiction – Part I

On 30 April 2020, the ICC Prosecutor issued her Response to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States  in the “Situation in the State of Palestine” matter. This has brought into focus a substantial debate as to what constitutes a State. There had been contributions submitted by 33 amici (including the…

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When More is Less: The US Department of Defense’s Statement on Cyberspace

On 2 March 2020 Paul Ney, General Counsel to the US Department of Defense (DoD), gave a speech at the US Cyber Command Legal Conference setting out the DoD’s position on the application of national and international law to cyberspace. Robert Chesney (at Lawfare) and Michael Schmitt (at Just Security) have provided a panoramic assessment…

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