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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 States), Palestine and Iran calling, inter alia, for the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry: ‘to establish the facts and circumstances relating to the systemic racism, alleged violations of international human rights law and abuses against Africans and people of African descent in the United States of America and other parts of the world recently affected by law enforcement agencies, especially those incidents that resulted in the deaths of Africans and of people of African descent, with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice’. As Parmar sets out so well, that original draft came to be watered down significantly as a result of the pressure from some, particularly western states.

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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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Of Babies and Bathwater: A Comment on Herzog

Sovereignty has been the target of so many indictments over the years that it is a hard task to renew the case against it in a way that is fresh and interesting. It is a tribute to Don Herzog that he manages to pull this off in such fine style. ‘Sovereignty RIP’ is incisively argued, impressively documented, widely…

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