Symposia

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The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2019-2021: A Pragmatic Response to Over-Zealous Claims Against the Military or a Vehicle for Impunity? Introduction to the Symposium on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill

The United Kingdom (UK) Government has introduced the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill to regulate legal proceedings stemming from operations of the UK armed forces outside of the British Islands. The Bill received its first reading in March 2020 and it is anticipated that the second reading will take place in September or October this year. At the time of writing, the Bill was also subject to scrutiny by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The background to the Bill is the large number of allegations regarding torture, murder and related abuses that have been levied against British soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The impetus for the Bill is the perception among some in the Government that legal proceedings against the UK armed forces have been brought with too much ease, that they are unfounded, or indeed ‘vexatious’, and once allegations are lodged, they are not put to rest despite individual soldiers having been exonerated. The Bill stems from a concern about the handling of claims by the…

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‘Racism will not pass’…

In her excellent recent post, Sejal Parmar takes us through the UN Human Rights Council’s ‘urgent debate’ on racism in US law enforcement that took place in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May. That debate was initiated by a draft resolution from Burkina Faso (on behalf of the Group of African…

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Unrepentant: Sovereignty RIP

Warm thanks to the symposiasts and thanks again to EJIL: Talk! for opening its pages to an outsider to international law. It’s gratifying to garner some approval of what I did, far more gratifying to have people take it seriously. It would be boring, litigious, and anyway impossible in this space to…

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Burying Sovereignty All Over Again: A Brief Review of Don Herzog’s Sovereignty RIP

Don Herzog’s Sovereignty RIP is a great read and I highly recommend it. It is extremely well written and it has a compelling argument. It focuses on what it refers to as the classic theory of sovereignty under which "every political community must have a locus of authority that is unlimited, undivided and unaccountable to any higher…

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Sovereignty – an Empty Vessel?

Sovereignty RIP? In his book, Don Herzog urges us to “bury” the concept of sovereignty. Since sovereignty has mutated, over the centuries, from the idea of an “unlimited, undivided, and unaccountable locus of authority” (at xi) to a concept of which we now think as limited, divided, and accountable, it has basically turned meaningless and should therefore be…

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