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The Plausibility test in the Recent Provisional Measures Orders of the International Court of Justice

In mid-November, the International Court of Justice issued two Orders for provisional measures based on claims under human rights treaties. On 16 November 2023, it issued an Order in the case of Canada and the Netherlands v. the Syrian Arab Republic, concerning the application of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).  The day after, it issued another Order for provisional measures in the ongoing 2021 Armenia v. Azerbaijan case concerning the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), adding to the two previous Orders issued in that case. These Orders, issued under Article 41 of the Court’s Statute, are binding pending the Court’s decision on the merits. The two recent ones further cement “plausibility” as a minimum bar to be reached for the Court to issue an indication for provisional measures.

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Twelve Years On: An Exceptional Chemical Weapons Tribunal

It is almost two years since a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council unilaterally decided to wage war against an independent European state. What response might we have expected in that time? More particularly, how might we have expected the international community to respond? Now let’s imagine we are a decade on. Twelve long years…

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An Effective Form of Judicial Treatment of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Kosovo?

Introduction Following the defeat of Islamic State in 2018 in Syria, thousands of Europeans accused of fighting for ISIS remain detained in Kurdish jails in Syria, while women and children related to these fighters are also living in several camps nearby the Iraqi border. Due to the absence of adequate infrastructure, some ISIS fighters are imprisoned in schools…

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The UN Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic A marathon, a sprint, or a hurdle race?

On 29 June 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution A/77/L.79 to create an Independent Institution on Missing Persons in the Syrian Arab Republic. This new institution will have two aims: (1) to clarify the fate and whereabouts of all missing persons in Syria and (2) provide adequate support to victims,…

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Could the Lafarge Settlement provide Reparations for Victims of ISIL?

On 18 October 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to a historic plea deal in the Lafarge proceedings, marking a significant development in the field of corporate accountability and terrorism. In the first ever U.S. prosecution of its kind, the Lafarge corporation (at the time one of the two largest construction companies in the world) and…

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