Theory of International Law

Page 2 of 31

Filter category

Feature post image

Democracy and the (Non)Statehood of Taiwan

Introduction Much ink has been spilled on Taiwan’s legal status since the Formosa Question first arose in the 1950s. Yet, after Taiwan gradually emerged as a free democracy through a series of constitutional reforms following the martial-law rule’s end in 1987, the question of Taiwan’s status in international law has been lent a new lease of life in the brinkmanship between China and the West: should Taiwan be recognized as a State in terms of international law? In making the case for Taiwan’s Statehood, it is argued that Taiwan has already satisfied all the four objective criteria for Statehood under the Montevideo Convention and achieved the requirement of independence. As Taiwan looks like a State, acts like a State, and speaks like a State, it must be a State and should be recognized as such. This duck test for Taiwan’s putative Statehood is complemented by a theory of democratic Statehood: through continuous democratic elections since its transition from autocracy to democracy in the 1990s,…

Read more

Multi-Forum Strategies to Tackle Climate Change and Other Complex Problems: A Note from Practitioners

Introduction  Recently, EJIL and EJIL Talk! featured a spirited debate between Corina Heri and Alexander Zahar on the role of human rights law and human rights litigation in addressing climate change (here, here, and here).  To Heri, leveraging human rights law and human rights litigation to address issues related to climate change “is…

Read more

The Olympic Truce: Tradition or International Law?

Ekécheiria ("laying down of arms") was a noble tradition of antiquity, by which Greek city-states were to observe a sacred truce during the Olympics. This truce, born of a treaty between the polis of Elis, Pisa and Sparta, extended from one week before the start to one week after the end of the classical Olympic Games, to allow…

Read more

Are sabotage of submarine pipelines an ‘armed attack’ triggering a right to self-defence?

On 26 and 27 September 2022, explosions damaged NordStream 1 and NordStream 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea (here). These are major transboundary pipelines (consisting of two pipelines each) transporting gas from Russia to Germany. They cross the territorial sea of three States (Russia, Denmark and Germany) and the exclusive economic zone (‘EEZ’) of five States (Russia,…

Read more

Women, Life, Freedom: Have international lawyers run out of words?

We have entered the fourth week into the Iranian protests (under the moto of “women, life, freedom” ) sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman from Iranian Kurdistan, following her arrest by the Iranian morality police for allegedly breaching the veiling laws. Since then, Amnesty International has reported that the government’s ultra-violent response…

Read more