Study of International Law

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Lavrov’s Lament: A Russian take on the rules-based global order

At the end of last month, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov wrote a spirited defence of international law in Kommersant, Russia’s main business paper. True to form, the country’s top diplomat lamented that, unlike the West, Russia still wants universally accepted principles of international law to govern international affairs. But what does it mean for these principles to be universal? And how does Russia play a role in the ‘internationality’ of international law? According to Mr. Lavrov, in a multipolar future, the West should no longer get away with imposing its will on the rest of the world. Yet, despite Mr. Lavrov’s ostensible sympathy for a more equal international order, the article scarcely hides a nostalgic plea for Russia’s return to the rule maker status the country enjoyed before 1989. In doing so, Mr. Lavrov provides proof for the divergence of national approaches to international law, as has been noted by Anthea Roberts, Lauri Mälksoo, and others. We are left to conclude that Russian approaches to many aspects of international law…

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From Eunomia To Eusophia: Planning a better future for the human world

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired much wide and deep thought about the human condition. A global phenomenon, like climate change, it has challenged deep-structural aspects of the organisation of the world.   It has challenged nationalism in requiring a cross-national response, at the level of policy and in complex practical measures. It has challenged established relationships between…

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EJIL:The Podcast! Episode 7: “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?” ‬

In this episode of the podcast, Sarah Nouwen is in conversation with Laurence Helfer (Harry R. Chadwick, Sr. Professor of Law, Duke Law School) and Erik Voeten (Peter F. Krogh Professor of Geopolitics and Justice in World Affairs, Georgetown University) about their article “Walking Back Human Rights in Europe?” which was published in the…

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A Study in Contrasting Jurisdictional Methodologies: The International Court of Justice’s February 2021 Judgments in Iran v. USA and Qatar v. UAE

The International Court of Justice issued two significant Decisions on Jurisdiction in early February: its 3 February 2021 Judgment in Iran v. United States (where the Court accepted jurisdiction over a dispute in which Iran alleged that the United States breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity between these two States) [hereafter, Iran v. US Judgment on Preliminary…

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Betwixt and Between: What We Write About When We Write About International Law History

Introduction  Upon reading Janne Nijman’s elegant response to my recent article in the European Journal of International Law (A New League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? The Professionalization of International Law Scholarship in The Netherlands, 1919-1940), what immediately sprung to mind was a legendary quote from Arnold Toynbee: “The only real struggle in the history of the…

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