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Two Questions on Coups and Representation before International Courts

Think of Myanmar, and the awful consequences of the military coup which are continuing to unfold. One of these consequences – among the least awful, but among the more legally interesting – is that in the immediate aftermath of the coup it is unclear which set of individuals is the government of that state, entitled to represent it internationally. We’ve recently covered that issue, for example, with regard to Myanmar’s representation in the UN; or think of the question that has arisen in the UK as to who is lawfully the Burmese ambassador, entitled to occupy the premises of the diplomatic mission. There are many such representation questions, often looked at from the standpoint of recognition of governments. But an especially peculiar representation issue (and as far as I know one underexplored in the literature) is that of who gets to represent a coup-afflicted state, such as Myanmar, in disputes before international courts and tribunals, particularly in those disputes that are already pending. Think, most obviously, of The Gambia…

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Reforming Land Restitution – A Concerted Effort to Derail Colombia’s Transitional Justice System?

Recently, Kai Ambos alerted readers of two attempts to weaken Colombia’s transitional justice system (see here and here). A third development fortifies suspicions that the country’s newly elected government intends to derail it. This time, a legislative proposal threatens Colombia’s land restitution process. Changes in the treatment of secondary occupants of reclaimed land could especially frustrate…

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The Settlement Agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

On 12 June, Athens and Skopje announced that they have reached an agreement to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav Republic’s name that has troubled relations between the two states for decades. The agreement was signed at Prespes Lake, a lake at the border of Albania, Greece, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on…

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Resignation of Mugabe: A Military Coup or a Legitimate Expression of the People’s Will?

On 15 November 2017, following a rule of 37 years since the independence of Zimbabwe, President Mugabe was placed under house arrest by the army. A military spokesman appeared on state television to declare that the president was safe and that they were only “targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and…

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Post-Election Crisis in The Gambia, the Security Council and the Threat of the Use of Force

The Gambian post-election crisis is a gem amongst cases relevant to the law on ius ad bellum – not only because it is a crisis that has been resolved with almost no bloodshed, but also because it offers valuable insights into the interaction between Security Council authorization, the doctrine of intervention by invitation, and the prohibition on the…

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