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Targeted Killings: New Allegations Against India and Ukraine

Yesterday, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, stood up in Parliament and formally accused the government of India of committing a targeted killing on Canadian territory. The victim, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was a prominent leader of a Sikh separatist movement in India, who was designated as a terrorist by the Indian government. He was assassinated in June in front of a Sikh temple. From an international law standpoint, this kind of public accusation raises two sets of issues. The first is attribution, which can be legal, technical, and political; for our purposes, the key question is the identity of the assassins and the nature of their link to the Indian government (were they, for example, individuals who worked for Indian intelligence services, i.e. state organs, or were they contractors of some kind, acting allegedly under the Indian state’s instructions, direction or control). Related to this question, but conceptually distinct from it, is the issue of the evidence supporting an attribution claim. In the context of an accusation of this…

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The Prosecutor’s New Policy on ‘Cyber Operations’ before the International Criminal Court (and its Implications for Ukraine): Some Preliminary Reflections

In late August, the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Karim A. A. Khan, published a little-noticed op-ed with Foreign Policy Analytics discussing the potential for the ICC to prosecute ‘cyberattacks’ as international crimes pursuant to the Rome Statute (RS). A cyberattack, according to the Tallinn Manual 2.0, is a ‘cyber operation,…

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Three Legal Questions Arising From Reported Practices of Enforced Disappearance in Russian-Occupied Ukrainian Territories

This week, on August 30, the international community observed the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance. Enforced disappearance places victims outside of the protection of the law in a state of complete vulnerability. It is a fundamental denial of human rights that directly victimises those disappeared, subjects their families to uncertainty…

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Sanctions Imposed on Private Investors by the US and the UK in the Russian-Ukrainian Conflict: Justifiable as Countermeasures in the Law of International Responsibility?

Scenario and Problems The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to elicit international reactions from States beyond the pair at the epicentre of concern. Just a few months ago, the Secretary of State of the United States issued a press statement, announcing sanctions on USM Holdings owned by the Russian…

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Environmental Destruction in War: A Human Rights Approach

In the early hours of June 6, 2023, the 468th day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Kakhovka Dam across the Dnipro River was destroyed. The catastrophic consequences of the destruction are readily apparent. Dozens of settlements have been flooded and thousands of people are fleeing the destruction, having lost their…

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