Theory of International Law

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The Credit Suisse Crisis and International Law II: We Live in a Swap Line World

Immediately after the public announcement of the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse (CS) by UBS on 19 March 2023, six of the world’s major central banks announced a coordinated action to prevent a global liquidity crisis in reaction to the CS collapse. The Federal Reserve (Fed), the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England (BoE), the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the Swiss National Bank (SNB), and the Bank of Canada (BoC), together the “C6”, announced that the US-dollar drawing central banks among them had agreed to offer US dollar operations no longer on a weekly, but on a daily basis to commercial banks in their respective jurisdictions. They did so to improve the effectiveness of the swap arrangements between them. A network of standing swap arrangements based on bilateral agreements between the C6 operates at the center of the international monetary system that has emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC). The renewed strengthening of this network on 19 March has so far been the…

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EJIL: The Podcast! Episode 20: Disordering International Law

Much of international law is about ordering. But in her article in EJIL issue 33(3), Michelle Staggs Kelsall calls for the disordering of international law. This is not an appeal to create more chaos in the world – there seems to be plenty of it. It is…

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The Credit Suisse Crisis and International Law: Time to Embrace Regime Complexity?  

There is a quasi-existential urge among international lawyers to present international law as salient whenever the “opportunity” of a crisis presents itself. Judge Charlesworth has famously lamented this urge because it distracts us from the subtle ways in which international law may deliver everyday justice. Yet, when it comes to financial crises, this “quest for international…

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Are sovereignty referendums but a tool to legitimize territorial claims of the powerful?

This is the impression one could be left with in the wake of the popular votes organized by Russia in the occupied Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia. This impression might be reinforced by the fact that, as recently shown by Sze Hong Lam on these pages, these were by far not the first…

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Is there a Right to be Protected from the Adverse Effects of Scientific Progress and its Applications?

An entitlement to access the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, particularly technology, is almost certainly settled content of the right to science. It has traditionally been interpreted from Article 15(1)(b) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, but probably inheres in a broader interpretation of Article 15, particularly following General Comment…

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