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Iran’s Tryst With the Terrorism Exception and State Immunity

Introduction On June 27, 2023, Iran instituted proceedings against Canada before the International Court of Justice (“the Court/ICJ”), contending a violation of its jurisdictional immunity and immunity from measures of constraint. A detailed statement of the jurisdictional and substantive issues raised in the case can be found in a previous blog post on this forum. In summary, Canada amended its state immunity legislation, enabling it to designate a State as a supporter of terrorism, and lifted the jurisdictional and enforcement immunity of States designated as such. Consequently, Canadian courts granted pre-judgment measures of constraint, recognized and enforced several judgments issued by US courts, and exercised jurisdiction over claims brought against Iran (see Iran’s Application, paras 14-20). In an insightful blog post on Just Security, Prof. William S. Dodge argues that this “terrorism exception” does not violate customary international law for two reasons. First, States are only granted immunity for sovereign acts, and supporting terrorism cannot be classified as acta jure imperii.

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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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Jurisdictional Immunities, all over Again?

ICJ proceedings instituted by Iran against Canada (27 June 2023): Some Observations on Jurisdiction and Merits Does State-backed terrorism enjoy State immunity from domestic jurisdiction or enforcement? This controversial question might finally be answered by the ICJ. Iran had already invoked its State immunities in Certain Iranian Assets, claiming that US court proceedings…

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9/11 Victims’ Claims to Afghanistan’s Foreign Exchange Reserve

Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserve has drawn considerable interest of late. According to recent reports, Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the State’s central bank, holds around USD 10 billion in the form of US treasury bonds, gold offshore and other investments. Given that most of the funds are held in the United States Federal Reserve and denominated in foreign…

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Collective Security Treaty Organization: Why are Russian Troops in Kazakhstan?

Background One matchstick is enough to burn the house down, especially when gas is involved. Shortly after New Year’s Eve, protests began in Kazakhstan, the biggest and economically strongest state in the Central Asian region, over rising gas prices. The protests have transformed from mere price reduction demands into anti-government riots. A decade ago,…

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