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The Forever Negotiations

A major question coming out of the 2015 Paris conference was whether the Paris Agreement represented a meeting of the minds and would provide a stable framework for international cooperation on climate change going forward, or whether it papered over differences and left crucial issues unresolved.  For twenty-five years, states had engaged in an almost continuous process of negotiations, adopting a multitude of agreements and instruments: the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1997 Kyoto Protocol, 2001 Marrakesh Accords, 2007 Bali Action Plan, 2009 Copenhagen Accord, and 2010 Cancun Agreements. With the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the Paris Rulebook three years later, had states finally found a formula that allowed them to spend less time negotiating and more time implementing?   Not surprisingly, the answer thus far has been “no”. The Paris Agreement was a major accomplishment.  But it is still very much a work in progress and its adoption seven years ago has not allowed the UN climate change regime to move onto a more technical, less political track, as…

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The Silala Case: Was Justice Served?

On 1 December 2022, the International Court of Justice (“ICJ” or “Court”) issued its decision on the Silala case. At the time of the Application, the Parties’ views were positively opposed. Chile requested a declaratory judgment that the Silala River system is an international watercourse, the use of which is governed by customary international law…

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Some Observations on the Agreement between Lebanon and Israel on the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone

Introduction On 11 October 2022, Lebanon and Israel reached a historic agreement to delimit the two countries’ territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (‘the Agreement’). The Agreement is ground-breaking for several reasons. First, it is the first maritime boundary agreement reached between countries that have no diplomatic relations.

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Equatorial Guinea v. France (No. 2): A First Attempt at International Litigation on Stolen Asset Recovery

On 29 September 2022, Equatorial Guinea instituted proceedings against France before the International Court of Justice. In its application, Equatorial Guinea alleges that France is failing to comply with its asset recovery obligations under the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). This case represents yet another legal twist in a long-running saga concerning the misappropriation…

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The First Working Draft of the WHO’s ‘Pandemic Treaty’: attempting to cover normative gaps indicated by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Given its cross-border nature and the threat to global health, the COVID-19 crisis has shown the world the importance of strengthening global pandemic governance. In particular, the pandemic has prominently indicated significant flaws in the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005) as the current instrument governing pandemics. In addition to recognizing that revisions are urgently needed to…

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