Territorial Disputes

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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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Conditional Decisions: A Solution for Ukraine v. Russia and Other Similar Cases?

On 21 February 2020, the tribunal in the Coastal State Rights arbitration between Ukraine and Russia rendered an award on preliminary objections. Although the tribunal decided that the case would proceed to the merits, it held that it did not have jurisdiction over any of Ukraine’s claims that would “necessarily…

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The Award concerning Preliminary Objections in Ukraine v. Russia : Observations regarding the Implicated Status of Crimea and the Sea of Azov

On 21 February 2020 the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation) rendered its…

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Does the European Court of Human Rights Have to Decide on Sovereignty over Crimea? Part II: Issues Lurking on the Merits

In my previous post I explained how the European Court’s Article 1 jurisprudence allows it to avoid the question of sovereignty over Crimea, since it can ground Russia’s jurisdiction over the territory, and thus the applicability of the ECHR, simply on the fact of its control and need not say anything else. But there are at least two…

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