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Decoding Nicaragua’s Historic Request to Intervene in South Africa v Israel

Days before anyone could even read it, Nicaragua’s application to intervene under Article 62 of the ICJ Statute in South Africa v Israel made headlines around the world. To most observers, this intervention may recall those filed in Ukraine v Russia, another Genocide Convention case in which third States have attracted much attention. Yet there are two fundamental distinctions between that “mass intervention” (¶116)—a vaguely pejorative term accidentally coined in this blog—and Nicaragua’s request to the Court. Firstly, Nicaragua seeks intervention under Article 62, whereas all interventions in Ukraine v Russia (and those sought in another Genocide Convention case, The Gambia v Myanmar) have been filed under Article 63. Secondly, Nicaragua seeks to intervene “as a party”, whereas every State admitted to intervene in ICJ proceedings has done so as a non-party. As explored below, the value of Nicaragua’s recourse to Article 62—rather than the more limited form…

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