Treaty Law

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The Death of Nuclear Arms Control Treaties

A generational crisis in international nuclear arms control law was already looming when, on February 21, 2023, Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would suspend its participation in the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).  New START, a bilateral nuclear arms control treaty between Russia and the U.S., was already scheduled to terminate by its terms on February 4, 2026. Russia’s suspension of its participation in the treaty, the practical implications of which are still emerging, moves that crisis even closer to realization.  That’s because New START is the last nuclear arms control treaty in effect between the U.S. and Russia – the last vestige of the intricate web of nuclear arms control treaties which were crafted through immense investment of effort both during and after the Cold War, and which are rightly credited with facilitating the coordinated drawdown of sockpiled and deployed nuclear weapons by the erstwhile superpowers from their Cold War combined high of over 65,000, to the present number of around 13,400.  New START provides that each…

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The Good Friday Agreement and International Treaty Law

10 April 2023 marks 25 years since the signing of the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. The agreement was a remarkable political and diplomatic achievement that has allowed a generation of young people to grow up in a society largely free from the worst kinds of violence that marked the conflict in Northern Ireland.

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On the ‘Suspension’ of the New START Treaty by Russia

On 21 February 2023, the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, announced to the Federal Assembly that Russia would suspend the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the ‘New START Treaty’, signed on 8 April 2010…

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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…

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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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