Theory of International Law

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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 No. 25 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Committee) in 2020. Yet, commentators seem convinced that the right to science also guarantees protection from the adverse effects of scientific progress and its applications, although it is not altogether clear why this is the case. Where does this interpretation of Article 15 come from? It’s an important question that has received little doctrinal treatment and significant tensions in this interpretation have been overlooked and under-elaborated. For instance, if an entitlement to access the benefits of a technology exists at the same time as an entitlement to be protected from the adverse effects of that same technology, how is a conflict…

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Project 2100—Is the International Legal Order Fit for Purpose?

It is in the darkest moments that we must ask the hardest questions and peer through the gloom in an attempt to see the light. The events to the east of us raise stark questions—about the current world order; about the place and effectiveness of the United Nations; about what the U.S. long-term assessment of global…

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The Gender of Treaty Withdrawal: Lessons from the Istanbul Convention

In the early hours of 20 March 2021 the Turkish Official Gazette announced—in a one sentence statement that offered no explanation—that the President Erdoğan had decided to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe treaty on preventing and combating violence against women. Two days later, the Communication Directorate of the President offered this justification: “The…

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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…

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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…

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