Study of International Law

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The Amendments to the Russian Constitution: Putin’s Attempt to Reinforce Russia’s Isolationist Views on International Law?

On 15 January 2020, in his state-of-the-union address, President Putin proposed a number of amendments to the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation, including the ones prescribing to redistribute the president’s power in favour of the parliament and a vaguely defined but powerful body called the State Council. The speech has made international headlines (see here, here, and here), and was followed by the resignation of Russian Prime Minister Medvedev (who served in this position since 2012) and the entire cabinet. However, apart from the proposed amendments to the Constitution which concern the changes in balance of power in the Russian Federation, Putin also touched upon a number of issues significant for international law and representative of Russia’s view on international law. This post will discuss two of such proposed amendments in turn: (i) securing the prevalence of the Russian Constitution over international treaties and decisions of international bodies; and (ii) limiting political rights of individuals holding dual citizenship or residence permit in another state. Securing the Prevalence of…

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Academic Freedom Under Pressure

  Contemporary threats to academic freedom are global, diverse and mounting. The ICNL-commissioned report Closing Academic Space published in March found “repressive and potentially repressive government practices against higher education institutions, including academics and students, in more than 60 countries”, including Hungary, Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Egypt and China. Challenges to academic freedom…

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International Civil Servants and Their Unexplored Role in International Law

2019 marks the centenary of the foundation of the League of Nations. While the early intergovernmental organizations (IOs) founded before WWI were often staffed by seconded officials, Eric Drummond, the British diplomat and the first Secretary-General of the League, set the ground for creation of an ‘international’ secretariat, composed of professional public servants of various backgrounds, who were…

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An Unseen Actor Speaks

  An Unseen Actor Speaks   Smile at us, pass us or greet us; then, if you like, forget, For we are the unseen actors, that have not spoken yet. The interns, law clerks, jurists, of less than judicial rank, Whom judges and arbitrators have nonetheless reason to…

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The Interests of Justice- where does that come from? Part II

Editor's Note: This is part II of a two-part post. Read part I here. After tracing the drafting history of article 53 of the Statute in part I of this post, part II is dedicated to the consequences that may be drawn from the relevant drafting history for the application of the “interests of justice”…

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